The SmallTown Heroes | Lo, the Hard Times

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United States - Indiana

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Spiritual: Alternative CCM Country: Alt-Country Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Lo, the Hard Times

by The SmallTown Heroes

The best Orthodox Christian, Alt-Country band in the United States. Debut Release.
Genre: Spiritual: Alternative CCM
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Cowboy\'s Last Goodbye
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4:13 $0.99
2. Days Have Come
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3:14 $0.99
3. Song for Mary Thomas
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4:41 $0.99
4. Claire
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3:44 $0.99
5. Sad Songs
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4:28 $0.99
6. American Dreams
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5:17 $0.99
7. Long Road
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3:56 $0.99
8. Sinners & Saints
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3:22 $0.99
9. Lo, the Hard Times
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4:39 $0.99
10. Sands of Time
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3:50 $0.99
11. Finally Remembered Your Face
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3:28 $0.99
12. Thy Kingdom Come
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3:14 $0.99
13. Don\'t Take It Bad
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5:09 $0.99
14. 11th Prayer
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4:22 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The SmallTown Heroes unique blend of Americana and Ancient Faith has been gaining reputation. Their self proclaimed \"Outlaw Gospel\" is a truly American perspective of life, faith, and The Church. Throughout their conversion to the Eastern Orthodox Church the three members of The SmallTown Heroes wrote and recorded songs rooted in the musical traditions of country, bluegrass, and folk. If Americana music is what you like you will definitely find some gems on their debut record Lo, the Hard Times. . You will enjoy their spirited and mournful tunes as they rob from the old and the new creating a sound that everyone can enjoy.


This CD is more than just another album. 100% of all the money made from the selling of this album goes directly to build an Orthodox Church. That’s correct, The SmallTown Heroes are donating every dollar that they make to the Saint Alexis Orthodox Church build a proper Church. Your support is welcomed and appreciated. Take a chance on a great new CD and help out a good cause. We are sure that you won’t be disappointed.


Reviews


to write a review

James (aka Dawzz)

Worth it for sure.
American Dreams is powerful and the haunting Don't take it Bad are my favorites with the throwback melody of Finally Remembered Your Face running a close third. I could go on about each song. Will be the best 9.99 I have spent in a while.

David B

Best disc to lament and rejoice!
With three very talented and distinct vocalist who play all their own instruments, SmallTown Heroes are a powerful trio. The myriad of styles represented here means there is something for almost everyone. Fans of gospel, blues, southern rock, acoustic folk and bluegrass can all find solace in the music and lyrics of Lo, The Hard Times. We are living in hard times, indeed, and this disc makes them seem a little less so. While it's hard to omit any song, stand-out tracks include Days Have Come, Sad Songs, Long Road, Saints & Sinners, the title track, Finally Remembered Your Face & 11th Prayer.

John


The variation from song to song really helps emphasize one of the greatest parts of this group. This is a band singing with the authenticity and warmth of an entire community. The songs are subtle in their experimentation. Its refreshing that they are not afraid to sing songs about God, faith, and loss in the way that feels most honest. It isn't always this beautiful when a very old church takes root in a nation as young as America.

Mary Flynn

Smalltown Heros
I really enjoyed this album. The music, the message, the talent. Incredible!

Matushka Jo

Knee-slappin' Good!
I music critic I am not, but I know what I like. Brian, Bethany, and Dallas et al are some pretty amazing creations in and of themselves. It's no wonder their combined talents have produced something so great. Though all the cuts are unique, my favorites are Cowboy's Last Goodbye, Long Road, and Saints and Sinners. I just close the car windows, crank up the volume and wail along Rte 43! Bethany's Sad Songs do indeed make me cry and Thy Kingdom Come is just plain lovely. Praise God in all times and in all places!

Heather the quilter

my heart
I love the entire CD. Every song is unique, bringing different stories and sound, but remaining one in faith. This is something I cherish, for so often when I buy an album, I find that all the songs begin to sound alike. This has not been the case with lo, the hard times. My greatest moment I have when listening to this album is hearing 11th prayer. That particular song speaks straight to my heart and has me in tears by the end. Thank you SmallTown Heroes for being willing to share pieces of your hearts and lives through your music!

Patric

living in the midst of it all
lo, the hard times ventures into the folk, country, and blue grass genres without any of these completely describing their music. All three members sing, write, and play various instruments which brings a unified diversity to this album that is rare. The album is woven into a novel of sounds. Each chapter tells its own story, but lends itself to developing the entire plot. This album also features no less than 17 guest musicians creating a musicality that far surpasses what one would expect to hear from a trio.

The album opens with a cowboy western fit for a truck driver. (every time I listen to Cowboy's Last Goodbye I envision myself driving through the desert in a large truck) Whether intentional or not, the Cash inspired rhythm of Cowboy's is unmistakable. It is at this opening moment of the album that you feel that you are about to take a journey. Where you are headed is unclear, but you feel intrigued and safe enough to let the music take you there.

Brian Greene's vocals, much like his character, are robust and they pull you in. They are not polished, but they are still pleasing. On several tracks the listener feels as though at any moment he could overtake and overwhelm the music. There are however, other instances in which Greene lets down his guard and sings from a place of sincerity that is overwhelming on a completely different level. (Don't Take It Bad)

Dallas Johnson's vocals are as prevelant as Greene's throughout the album which gives it a nice balance. Only one male voice represented on an entire album would eventually push the listener away in the case of Greene or lose it's charm in the case of Johnson. Johnson's voice contrasts his male counterpart without feeling out of place. His vocals are vulnerable without being puny, but he experiments with them on several tracks adding depth to the album. At times he conjures up images of Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, such as the track Thy Kingdom Come.

This review would be incomplete, as would Smalltown Heroes, if I forgot about Bethany (Jones) Johnson. Her vocal presence on the album is not as prevelant, but her contribution includes one of the most moving songs I have heard in a very long time. Sad Songs is a track that brought tears to my eyes. It is not often that a song will have this effect on me, but there is something special about this song. It is a heart breaking account of love lost and the pain that it can leave behind. Bethany's vocals are fragile and draw you into a place that is all too familiar. It is a haunting track that fits perfectly on the album.

lo, the hard times is unique in so many ways, but at the same time the listener feels at home here among its chapters. What makes this album great is the willingness of its authors to put their stories on paper. From beginning to end this musical journey is full of highs and lows. It is a very human story and that is what makes it so special. A casual observer may not notice anything extraordinay about this band from Indiana. In many ways this group may not stand out from a hundred other artists that have similar musical styles. However, a close look reveals that this band is much more than just the same old thing. Each member of its band draws from his or her experiences and has laid them out for us to partake in if we are willing.

We will enjoy the music and dance to some of the songs, but if we allow ourselves to truly listen to their words we will find they are speaking to each one of us. Our experiences are completely different, but the heart ache that can accompany the human experience and the truth that each of us longs for is universal. Smalltown Heroes have crafted an album of depth that will make you laugh, cry, dance, pray, remember, rejoice, and mourn. This afterall is an album that celebrates the good and the bad not because its authors want you to feel a certain way, but because they understand that to move your life forward you must accept all the living that has come before.

Peters at CD Baby


Like less fuzzed-out 16 Horsepower, The SmallTown Heroes make spiritual alt-country that's thought-provoking but not preachy. There's plenty to love about this album: it's got that world-weary Americana country sound you've loved from artists like Steve Earle and Ryan Adams; the harmonies are spot on; the songs are a little sad but centered around the Eastern Orthodox faith, so there's some big themes at work in the lyrics; and to top it off, the band is donating every dollar that they make to fix up their church. If that doesn't touch your heart, then nothing will. The songs are interesting, not following cliche formulas, though they are firmly based in traditional rock, bluegrass, and folk roots. Standout tracks include the upbeat "Days Have Come", the organ-led lamentations of "American Dreams", and "Sands of Time", which starts as a lo-fi drone, then turns into a the fiddle-based two-stepper about the passage of time and the sadness found in humanity.