I made my entry into the Nashville scene in a way that’s backward compared to most folks. Most think of Nashville as a Country music city first and discover the other genres later. I started in alternative, making my way into pop, then Americana/folk, and finally into Country.
Jon Worthy is a Nashville musician who leads a band that exists somewhere in that Country/Americana realm. Jon Worthy and the Bends have crafted a record that’s down to earth and easy on the ears. If I were traveling through Nashville in the near future, I would find this band to be a good option to use to end a night of club hopping. There’s something about the line in the end of “Turn My World Around” that says “Should I wait or say goodbye?” It can apply to the reluctance of ending a relationship or something as simple as a night of partying. I’ll sip on my night cap drink sometime at True Music Room and Bar (my new favorite Nashville spot) and ponder that.
“Takin’ My Time” is another highlight of the record, giving off a distinct camaraderie around a campfire vibe. It’s a bit ironic, since the most memorable lyric “I’m taking my time trying to level my mind” hints at getting over a breakup, or perhaps recovering from a bad fight. Either way, it’s a nice way to turn a negative into a positive with the good-natured melody within it.
“Better Days” is a song that makes me appreciate the technical skill of the band and how they’re able to convey certain moods while maintaining a laid back demeanor. I get the impression that Jon Worthy is a pretty chill guy, and it’s cool how he’s able to maintain that while still conveying genuine longing in this song. The drum beat has a quick tempo conveying urgency, but they stay in the background enough to maintain the relaxed vibe of the album. “Take the Good” also succeeds in this regard; the lack of spacing between lines in this song seems to indicate that the singer is commanding the listener to absorb a lot of information and advice. It’s urgent, pointing to a rather bleak outlook—therefore we must “take the good when the good comes (our) way.” It’s a somewhat somber call to action to end the album! It compliments the opening track “Chasing Dreams,” which expresses the angst that comes with chasing the ever elusive dream of earning wider recognition for one’s music. The world is hard, and there will be failures, therefore we cannot let them define us: we must take the good, even when “we are always losing the fight to inspire” and we feel that “something’s gotta give.”
Chase your dreams, but don’t forget to live. That’s a paraphrase of the album opener’s key lyric and a good application to most scenarios.