Bluegrass, folk, and classic country meet bar-band rock & roll on Stay Reckless, the new album by Austin Lucas. It’s his debut for New West Records, but Lucas has been kicking around the Americana scene for the better part of a decade, releasing his first album in 2006 and writing songs for other artists — in the intervening years. He’s got some punk cred, too, cutting his teeth in a hardcore band during his early 20s and, more recently, crisscrossing the country with the Warped Tour.
Stay Reckless combines his high-lonesome voice with the loud, rootsy crunch of Glossary, Lucas’ touring partners and backing band. Mark Nevers produced the album, adding Lucas’ name to a resume that already includes Caitlin Rose and Jason Isbell. The star of the album is still Lucas, though, and his songs — influenced by everything from his childhood in Indiana to his five-year stay in Prague — put a modern spin on an old sound.
“I wrote the majority of this record leading up to and in the aftermath of separating and divorcing my ex-wife,” Lucas tells American Songwriter. “In many ways it could be considered a typical breakup album, however, I really wanted there to be a glimmer of hope that existed along with the heartache. Hope for a future without the stress and isolation that I’d been feeling for so long and hope for the possibilities that life might now place in my path. There’s a whole lot of sadness in the songs on Stay Reckless but alongside it, there’s also the glimmer of happiness to come.”
Stream the full album here, and look for Stay Reckless on August 27.