Specklers: No Egrets (2020)

  • Title: No Egrets
  • Artist/Band: Specklers
  • Release Date: 2020
  • Genre(s): Americana/Roots
  • Record Label: Ravis Records
  • Track List:
    1. Nothing Left to do but Die
    2. Gotta be Somewhere
    3. Jackie B. Nimble
    4. Lighten this Lonesome Load
    5. Don’t it Make you Feel

“No Egrets” is a rhythmic powerhouse, embracing full instrumentation that includes traditional South Louisiana instruments like the fiddle, accordion, and washboard. The melodies are rich and infused with the earthy tones of the region’s musical heritage, while the harmonies create a compelling backdrop to the rhythmic intensity.

Produced by Jason Harrington and Lucas Broussard in Kaplan, Louisiana, the album boasts a direct and powerful production style. The recording and mixing quality is top-notch, ensuring that every instrument and vocal is crisply articulated. The production style complements the music’s rhythmic vigor and supports Harrington’s aggressive vocal delivery.

Jason Harrington continues his focus on environmental themes and storytelling from unique perspectives. “Nothing Left to do but Die” vividly depicts the aftermath of oil spills and hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, painting a bleak yet urgent picture of environmental devastation. “Lighten this Lonesome Load” offers a touching narrative from the point of view of a dog, while “Jackie B. Nimble” delves into the life of a cicada named Jackie, using progressive chord progressions and cerebral lyrics to push Cajun fiddling traditions forward.

Standout tracks:

Jackie B. Nimble: This track is a standout due to its innovative approach to Cajun fiddling and its unique lyrical perspective. The progressive chord progression and the narrative from a cicada’s viewpoint make it both intellectually stimulating and musically adventurous.

Nothing Left to do but Die: This song is particularly memorable for Lucas Broussard’s guitar solo, which sonically mimics an oil spill, and Harrington’s blistering commentary on environmental catastrophes. The powerful instrumentation and poignant lyrics combine to create a track that is both impactful and thought-provoking.

Jason Harrington’s vocal delivery is nothing short of powerful and opinionated, matching the intensity of the themes he explores. His voice carries a sense of urgency and emotion that resonates deeply with the listener. The instrumental performances are equally compelling, with Scott Domingue’s return on drums adding a familiar yet evolved rhythm section. The inclusion of Major Handy on accordion adds authenticity and depth to the tracks he features on, enhancing the overall sound.

The album is a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from anger and frustration in tracks like “Nothing Left to do but Die” to the thoughtful and somewhat melancholic tone of “Lighten this Lonesome Load.” The personal experiences and social commentaries embedded in the lyrics amplify the emotional weight of the music, making it both a reflective and cathartic listening experience.

Compared to their earlier albums “In the Clover” and “Animal Monk,” “No Egrets” marks a significant evolution in Specklers’ sound. The band has fully embraced the instrumentation and rhythms of South Louisiana’s indigenous musical styles, creating a more authentic and progressive sound. This album completes their transition from Americana and Roots Rock beginnings to a nuanced blend of regional influences.

The recording and mixing, handled by Harrington and Broussard, are exceptional. Each track is meticulously crafted to highlight the intricate details of the instrumentation while maintaining a cohesive sound. The production style is direct and powerful, perfectly complementing the robust rhythmic elements and searing lead tones.

“No Egrets” is a testament to Specklers’ musical journey and growth. It encapsulates their exploration and assimilation of South Louisiana’s rich musical traditions, producing a sound that is both innovative and rooted in cultural authenticity. The album’s thematic focus on environmental issues and personal narratives adds depth and relevance, making it a significant addition to their discography.

Memorable Moments:

  • Lucas Broussard’s guitar solo in “Nothing Left to do but Die” is a standout moment, evocative of an oil spill in its sonic texture.
  • The innovative narrative perspective in “Jackie B. Nimble,” with its progressive musical arrangement, is another highlight that showcases the band’s creative prowess.

Fans of Americana and Roots music with a penchant for regional authenticity will find “No Egrets” particularly appealing. The album’s rhythmic grooves and intelligent lyrics draw comparisons to other artists who blend traditional and contemporary influences, such as The Band, Ry Cooder, and The Neville Brothers.

The album is tailored for listeners who appreciate danceable music with a strong rhythmic foundation, layered with thoughtful and innovative lyrics. It appeals to both fans of traditional South Louisiana music and those looking for something fresh and original.

Produced during the 2020 Covid lockdown, “No Egrets” reflects the period’s introspective and constrained creativity, resulting in an album that is both reflective and urgent in its themes.

By addressing environmental and industrial issues in the Gulf Coast region, “No Egrets” contributes a critical voice to the discourse on these topics. It also reinforces and revitalizes South Louisiana’s musical heritage, ensuring its continued relevance and evolution.

“No Egrets” is a powerful and succinct statement in the genres of Americana and Roots music, deeply infused with the cultural and musical heritage of South Louisiana. It stands out for its rhythmic intensity, thoughtful lyrics, and authentic instrumentation.

As the capstone of Specklers’ musical evolution, “No Egrets” solidifies their place in the music scene with an authentic and progressive style. This album not only highlights their growth as artists but also promises a lasting legacy in their discography, marking a pinnacle in their journey through diverse musical landscapes.