Lost Ragas – Trans Atlantic Highway
Lost Ragas are headed by Matt Walker. Having opened for the likes of Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, and Patti Smith no less, he’s now releasing material under the Lost Ragas moniker with three other players. Boy, their music deserves to be heard. Walker hails from Melbourne (Aus), but he sounds like he’s straight out of East Nashville. The most obvious signifier is the pedal steel, which is an almost constant presence and which is beautifully played throughout. But there’s also a certain ‘alternative’ vibe. The message on ‘Marijuana Mornings’ isn’t hard to decipher and the lyrics on ‘From The Turnip Patch To The Windowsill’ are so far out they sound like they could have been written in the haze of one of those self-same mornings. In comparison to last year’s release, Phantom Ride, which had echoes of both The Rolling Stones and The Byrds at times, Trans Atlantic Highway is a much more cohesive listen. Sure, ‘Those Wild Blue Eyes’ is a straight-up rock song. And ‘Seven Days’ is strategically placed to refresh the ear buds. For the most part, though, the pace is reassuringly slow. The mood plenty reflective. Songs are given time to develop, notably on perhaps the highlight of the set, ‘Murderous And Insane’. With his second album as Lost Ragas, Matt Walker has maybe moved on to a new phase in his career. By the sound of Trans Atlantic Highway, it’s one worth following.