J.R. Louis certainly has soul. His debut album Talk Is Cheap, Whiskey Costs Money exemplifies the folk rock renaissance at its best. With the unique and quirky piano melodies in “Color Me”, Louis creates a little ditty that exposes his soul in a genuine and heartfelt way. Through “Where’s my City”, this album shows an impressive perspective on the Alberta landscape. This Medicine Hat artist reflects the heart of Southern Alberta in a way that has never seemed so genuine. The mellow nature of the album is entirely soothing.
While following in the grand tradition of Mumford and Sons, JR Louis embodies what it means to be a soulful young man. What has been self-described as a “folk-rock country dumpster of back alley melodies” exemplifies the best of this genre. In “Not So Great Depression” Louis explores depression era themes masterfully weaved in with contemporary themes. With clear folk, pop, rock and country influences, this album is the perfect medley of these styles. The country influence is most evidence in “Die with Grace”, where the good old Alberta roots show through. The eclectic nature of Louis’ recording studios from closets to basements reflects the eclectic influences in this album. While country music is inescapable in Alberta, Louis creates a twist that can be enjoyed by all. It’s hard not to like an artist who literally wishes you goodbye at the end of the album.
I highly recommend that you check out this album as it is one of the best local albums of the year. A preview can be found on JR’s website or MySpace. Talk Is Cheap, Whiskey Costs Money is available for purchase on iTunes.