“Strong Feelings,” by Canadian singer-songwriter, Doug Paisley, follows up 2011’s “Constant Companion.” The third full-length record extends on Companion‘s warm country-folk notions, showcasing Paisley’s au-natural, 1970s-era, Nashville-touch without having to set foot in the Music Capital. However, Feelings‘ 10 compositions are too smart for country radio or the mainstream audience that these songs deserve to be heard by.
Even Paisley’s choices in session players suggests a targeted audience he knows better by. Fellow Canadian great, Garth Hudson (The Band), returns again to add steady, Cosmic Americana, keyboard flourishes through-out. He’s joined by Emmett Kelly (Bonnie Prince Billie), Bazil Donovan (Blue Rodeo), and many more.
Song highlights include a should-be country radio hit with the opener, “Radio Girl,” and a duet between Paisley and Mary Margaret O’Hara, “What’s Up Is Down.” Colin Stetson (Bon Iver, Tom Waits, Feist, Arcade Fire, TV On The Radio) nearly steals the show from Paisley, Hudson, and O’Hara with a sax solo to end side A, but it’s the songs that are the real stars here.
“To and Fro” channels another fellow Canadian and his band, Neil Young & Crazy Horse. “Where The Light Takes You” starts off with its 70s AM-radio country stroll and ends with a classic rock crescendo. Paisley’s influences aren’t too hard to pick out, and that’s what makes ‘Feelings’ so easy and pure to enjoy.
The right listeners will find and appreciate Doug Paisley and his “Strong Feelings” one way or another.
Pet those puppies,