Seth Jones’s latest album, “Whiskey Attitude”, brings country nostalgia to the table while simultaneously carrying notes of joy and loss. Jones indulges his audience with an abundance of slide guitar, fiddle solos, and references to heartache, drinking, guns, dogs, and Texas. “Whiskey Attitude” is an ultra-album of sixteen well-written, -performed, and -produced songs. The first four songs of the album are simply terrific. It kicks off with the racing intro to “Lonely, Lonely Self” with a masterful fiddle solo and lyrics that juggle inner despair and outer confidence. The title song, “Whiskey Attitude”, sums up the suffering and guilt that come along with a recent breakup. “Some Do”, arguably the strongest song on the album, reaches out to multiple generations of listeners, from “Pancho and Lefty”-listening parents to their line-dancing children. The song rocks in a style reminiscent of The Eagles with the defiant attitude of Toby Keith. “Better Off Alone” contains a hooky sing-along chorus that one can imagine a barroom-full of inebriated patrons lifting their beers and crowing, “Hope it stings you like a scorpion. Pray it bites you like a snake. And the poison that you gather gets you good, for goodness sake!"
The album picks back up with the love song, “You know what I mean”, full of innuendo. “These Dreams” includes a couple of excellent guitar solos. “The Mess” and “I Blame Her” could be about the same person on a different day or a different year, two sides of a flipped coin. Jones really reaches back into country’s roots with “The Better Half”. The intro channels Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys while the chorus and bridge could have been written by Willie: “Even though my life hasn’t gone as I had planned, I’ll keep fightin’ hard to make it through. I have yet to do half the things that I want to, but I plan to do the better half with you.” “When I can’t pretend” is the album’s most lyrically wrenching song full of soul-searching and agony: “How can I love her when I don’t love me”. “High and Mighty” deploys expert storytelling and relatable blue-collar imagery. “Tumble Down” contains more first-rate fiddle-work and vocals that evoke Waylon Jennings.