From the gnarly line strewn portrait (painted by his sister) on the sleeve and the whine of the first chord, coupled with the opening line; "Lost my job today" - you sense you're on to something good. Dour downbeat, downtrodden, it's the best sort of country music, from the wrong side of the tracks, not embellished, over polished or slick - but truthfully, raw, even abrasive at times - something to be thankful for.
Tales of depression, the lonesome and the unloved, Patershuk does a great line in the dark side of the genre. Sob filled fiddle, heartbroken pedal steel and one of the saddest voices I've ever heard, Patershuk has a fine ear for the tune in the frequency of Waylon, Willie and Kris. It's timeless country music, delightfully it'll turn off modern country 'bro' fans - it's too good for them anyway, too rich, too sophisticated for their bland palates.
Relaxed, under produced, it lets its natural light shine through, its ease is its charm - it draws you close to its warming fire, and with a couple of rotations this feels like a record you've owned for years. Testament to its quality is the line-up of players; Fats Caplin - always the seal of quality, but importantly Ana Egg who's most recent I loved, just takes the whole thing up an extra notch to gold medal.
A Canadian in Nashville, it needs that sense of outsider to really make a record that is so fluid and beguiling, simply songs that somehow have that extra flourish to amount to more than the sum of the parts. An intensely personal record in parts, yet isn't too overly sentimental, it feels shared rather than the listener is prying.
The songwriting is terrific; "stray dogs don't go missing, they just go away", 'Closer' shows another side to his obvious talent. A soul lament, with his aged, oaked voice, Patershuk has made a remarkable album, only his second; fans of Pidcott, Cleaves and the mercurial Prine are going to enjoy this so so so much.