Hard Times Are Relative is immediately gratifying country with a conscience delivered with a shot of adrenaline. The fast-paced collection of 10 songs showcases Jason Boland & The Stragglers’ signature brand of authentic roots music infused with rock n’ roll, jangly honky tonk, traditional folk, and even a classic country duet with Texas powerhouse Sunny Sweeney. The theme running throughout much of the album focuses on our complicated relationship with the past and accepting the inevitability of change. View the recent Rolling Stone Country feature HERE for more insight.
Jason Boland & The Stragglers has proven to be a band with staying power. With a career that defines the term “DIY”, and a crew of honky-tonk aces that currently includes Grant Tracy (bass), Brad Rice (drums and background vocals) and Nick Worley (fiddle, mandolin, and harmonies), Boland has gone on to sell over a half million albums independently and continues to pack houses all over. The band’s explosive live performances have established a large and loyal fanbase, and their albums have garnered positive coverage from a wide range of press that includes The New York Times, Garden & Gun, American Songwriter, The Wall Street Journal and Billboard.
As there’s been a recent resurgence of artists inspired by the original outlaws of country music, Jason Boland & The Stragglers continue to stand as a beacon of honoring the genre’s past while broadening its horizons. Hard Times Are Relative is yet another solid offering from a band that proves keeping one foot in tradition doesn’t have to be limiting, and quality, substantive country music has been right in front of us all along. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.