Greg Humphreys is one of those amazing surefire musicians I want to grab people and make listen to – just sit them down in an easy chair, pack a little something in their pipe, strap on headphones and just wait for the grin I know is coming once Humphreys’ music hits their synapses. Since the mid-80s, he’s knocked out quality rock ‘n’ soul with his bands Dillon Fence and HOBEX (two catalogs y’all need to go way more than knee deep into), proving one of the shaggiest Southern white boys to ever belt ’em out in a voice that’d make young Al Green and Bill Withers smile, with the sterling songcraft to match his pipes.
Last year’s Trunk Songs was his first album released under his own name and hinted at even more wide-ranging stylistic mojo than earlier, something Realign Your Mind (released September 7 on Phrex Records) affirms in spades. From the breezy lilt of one-two punch openers “21st Century Existential Latin Blues” and “Talk It Out” (two utter jewels that make one wistful for the well-sculpted singles of 70s AM radio) to the skipping twang of “Way Over Yonder” and smoothed-out country lilt of “Thought I’d Be A Rambler” and onto further shores, Realign Your Mind is songwriter’s cornucopia, a series of succinct lessons in how to do everything right down to the lean but perfect arrangements and ever-seductive vocals. Small touches accent the positive throughout, and Humphreys’ lyrics shift one’s latitude towards the reflective without being pushy, preachy or plainly depressing. His love songs are the sort people turn to when feelings are true and strong, on both sides of an affair, and there’s plenty more for the days we spend alone. In short, the man is quality in all aspects and his latest only makes that even clearer than before.