A finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (folk) Josh Farrow has performed at Hangout Fest and Merlefest, opened for Butch Walker and Sturgill Simpson (among others), and saw his songs placed on television, including Nashville. On October 28th, the singer-songwriter will release his anticipated new album, Trouble Walks With Me. Produced by Dexter Green, the ten track project features artists such as The McCrary Sisters (Bob Dylan, Buddy Miller), Elizabeth Cook, Ruby Amanfu, Chris Donohue, Brian Owings, and more assisting Farrow in executing his distinctive sound that blends Americana elements with a hefty infusion of New Orleans R&B and Soul that’s downright dynamite.
Weaving themes of love and loss, self-reflection, pain, and salvation Farrow kicks things off with the delightfully funky, keys-driven opening track, “I’ll Be Your Fool,” where he makes a declaration of sorts to a “two-timing lady” that he’s hers no matter what comes, including heartbreak. That’s followed by the bluesy “Wash Me in the Well” where his search for peace and redemption are deeply felt and urgent, and “Before You Leave,” a heartbreaking plea to “take what’s left of me” before she leaves for good.
The clock rewinds to the 1970’s with the soulful funk (a la the Steve Miller-like intro) of “Time Ain’t No Friend of Mine” where he reflects on the troubles that occupy his mind and hold him back from moving forward, while the pedal steel, smoky atmosphere of “Tijuana Girl” offers a subdued hallelujah for a murder committed and covered up. Thoughtful introspection and a shuffling percussive beat drives the rootsy “Worryin’ Kind” where he admits, “I’ve been a down-home sinner with a worryin’ smile;” while the groovy “Who’s Gonna Love You When I’m Gone,” provides a light bulb moment where he finally has enough of her two-timing ways, slips out the back door and vows to be “miles away from you before you know.”
The album is rounded out by the superb “Devil Don’t You Fool Me” which balances darkness with its vibrant bluesy, gospel-flavored chorus, and the intimate “No Need To Say Goodbye” before closing with the subtle, haunting intensity of “Trouble Walks With Me” - “Long gone and lonesome is all I’ve been these days/These heavy old bones are gonna swallow me whole.”
Trouble Walks With Me is an emotionally striking, cohesive and balanced album which impacts deeper with each listen. Fusing tender ballads, groovy funk and ample heart, Farrow’s sonic stylings showcase a welcome individualism that can’t be pigeon-holed - and that’s a good thing. File under good music, play and repeat.