Charlie Farley releases his sophomore record on April 8th and he’s giving us a deeper look into his life. With “Hog Heaven”, he was just getting his feet wet in the music industry and he was simply giving listeners a taste of music. With “All I’ve Been Through” he pushes it “all in” and shows his hand and he’s got a royal flush.
The record starts off with the title track and it sets the tone the rest of the way. “Yea I like to drink a few, but beer ain’t all that I can brew. You know I like the mud too, but mud ain’t all that I’ve been through”. To me, he’s pretty much saying, “Yea I talk about the mud and drinking, but that’s not what defines me as an artist, nor does it define me as a person.” This first track speaks to me as a listener and it pulls me in to want to learn more about who Charlie Farley really is.
Second track on the record is “Cashville” and this song has that “started from the bottom now I’m here.” feel to it. One of the lines that stuck out to me with this song is, “Maybe my lyrics will start saving ya’ll like they’ve saved my life…” It stuck out because everyone who listens to music knows there’s that one line in every song that hits you like a ton of . It stops you dead in you dead in tracks and makes you say, “Whoa… that was pretty deep.” This was that line.
So the next three songs, “Country As This”, “Get It Girl” and “Going Going Gone”, all took me back to those mudbog days and wild nights. Now I’m not saying that they all sound the same because they definitely don’t, but what I am saying is they all have that party feel to them and they all flow together perfectly.
That brings us to the song, “Headlights” and this song describes every Friday or Saturday night for anyone who grew up in a one-light town. I sat down and closed my eyes when I listened to this and flashbacks of those years right after high school came to me. Those years where you begin to find yourself and it was almost as if it was a narrative of how we spent those nights “dancing in the headlights.”
“Love Harder” is a song that spoke volumes to me when I listened to it. The message behind the lyrics told me that no matter what happens in life, never forget the people and things that keep you grounded. “Work hard but love harder, get knocked down but you’ll get stronger…” Alex Hall and Charlie Farley nailed it with this one and for me, it’s one of those songs that motivates me and reminds me to keep pushing forward.
So now we come to the song on the record that punches you in the gut and gives you chills the second Farley begins. “Red Rose”, a song written about a time in his life that is still dear to him, the passing of his sister. This song is one of the best songs on the entire album and could easily be put up there with some of today’s “top” country artists.
When I first saw “Southern Comfort” on the track listing I knew it was one of the songs that I couldn’t wait to hear it. Assuming it was about the actual drink, when I got to the song, Charlie negated any thought of that with the first line, “It ain’t a bottle, they don’t make a drink that strong…” and it became apparent that he was expressing his love for his hometown in Arkansas. The song actually made me want to plan a road trip and see what this place that he was describing in the song.
“Southern Summertime”, the original “Backwoods Boys” team up and knock this one right out of park again. The chemistry between Daniel Lee and Charlie Farley is real and you can really hear it with this song. By the time the chorus hits with this song you will be bobbing your and by the time the second verse is over you will be singing the words to the song. It’s really that catchy and probably one of my favorite songs on the record.
So I’m now towards the end of the record and I feel like I’ve gotten a good feel as to just who Charlie Farley is. The songs “Tomorrow” and “Concrete Dreams” both seem to drive the nail in deeper. The pure honesty with these two songs seem to bring me back to the realization that music shouldn’t be labeled to a specific genre. These people who put out records and record songs, they are called artists for a reason. They make musical art and that is what Charlie Farley has done here with “All I’ve Been Through”. The last song on the record is a remix to “Southern Summertime” featuring Colt Ford and when you add him to any song, it just makes it that much more enjoyable. I highly recommend anyone who follows Charlie Farley to get this CD as well as anyone who has never really listened to this type of music before. It’s not always about beers, girls and trucks and mud isn’t definitely not all that Farley has been through.