Forrest McCurren’s Oh Me, Oh My

By Brian Rock

Forrest McCurren celebrates lovers, losers and loners on his debut, Oh me, Oh My. Following in the footsteps of 2021 breakout artist, Mac Leaphart; McCurren captures the everyman, country/folk stylings of Hayes Carll and Corb Lund.

“Big Blue Space,” opens the album with gorgeous, yearning fiddle strains. McCurren strums his acoustic guitar and sings, “There’s a dirty house and a chance of rain. Shaking hands and a tired face stares out the window at the flat grey plains.” Telling the story of a high school sports star who finds himself lost and lonely at 32, McCurren assesses his subject’s new life: “It’s lonely nights, new beginnings; mostly ties, but sometimes winning.” Not able to recapture the glory of his youth in his own hometown, he turns into “A one man stampede in the passing lane,” seeking the joys of his past somewhere down the road. But of course, you can never recapture your past by running from your present. The haunting minor chords and insightful lyrics perfectly capture the torment of a lost soul trapped in his longing for what he can never get back.

McCurren continues to shine his light on sympathetic souls seeking solace from their woes. “Dime A Dozen,” adds piano and steel guitar to celebrate the unexceptional. Singing, “Some folks gotta chase a dream. I just want a bar where the drinks are cheap,” McCurren explores the serenity that comes from accepting things as they are. “With A Little Luck,” reiterates the theme of accepting the hand you’re dealt with a little Hammond organ, a George Harrison style guitar break, and the line, “If that’s all there is, then that’s enough.” But sometimes we all misplay the hand we’re dealt. The ballad “Oh Me, Oh My,” offers advice for just such a situation. Singing, “Oh me, oh my, I’m way across the line. It might sound strange, but I need a change so I’m leaving my mind behind.” Acknowledging that the same way of thinking that got you in trouble, won’t get you out; McCurren urges a simple change of mind. But changing hearts is not nearly as simple.

“Heavy Old Hearts,” is a surprisingly uptempo honky-tonk that explores the perils of pursuing romance. Singing, “Heavy old hearts heal so slow. You’re damned if you fall in love, but alone if you don’t,” As McCurren contemplates this age-old dilemma, he manages to find a silver lining in, “middle aged women who still wanna party, and backs that don’t hurt so bad while drinking Bacardi.” In “Pray for Sun,” he views heartbreak from a woman’s point of view. Embracing his feminine side, he confesses, “Shakespeare almost got it right, love’s a madness but it’s not discreet.” Following her story of strength gained through suffering, he concludes, “You take your chances, but don’t pass the blame. You pray for sun but prepare for rain.”

Like James McCurtry, Forrest McCurren captures the little details of life and love. His lyrics are as honest as a callous and as real as a scar. You recognize yourself in his characters; and you root for them even when you know they’re bound to lose. And occasionally they do manage a win. “Denver,” is a tender country/folk song about reconnecting with the right one after being apart for an extended time. Still staying grounded, McCurren focuses on life’s little moments: “They go on dates to Dairy Queen, two meals for ten bucks. She’s smilin’ again, and he’s not worried about fixin’ up that truck.” And again, on the country rock road song, “Little Rock,” he celebrates the joy of coming home to the one you love. Dedicated to his wife, Margaret (who also lends her vocals to the song,) McCurren sings, “Baby I know now all roads lead to one place. To that pretty little mouth on your pretty little face.” With an impressive cast of characters brought vividly to life by McCurren’s deft storytelling, Oh Me, Oh My, makes you want to say “Oh yeah!”  |  fb  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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