This album snuck out in a digital and CD run in 2018 but gains a new life on LP in 2022. Capturing the spirit of the current Cosmic Country wave, Portland’s Tobias Berblinger has cultivated a crop of ten lightly liquored gems that fit right in with a few RSTB faves, feeling like a complimentary companion to Shinglers, Tobacco City, or The Pink Stones. Embedded in the bunch is a nice cover of Comander Cody, a nod to the wind in the album’s sails. Tobias plucks from the outsider country perspective, picking up on the whiskey soaked ramble of Townes, Blaze and Guy Clark, while not necessarily digging into the depth of their desperation.
That’s not to say that the album is all rollick, far from it in fact. He hits the barroom floor with a sorrow that’s sincere, but never quite as visceral as his influences. Berblinger’s tenderness comes through quite often, though, especially as his softer side skews folk. The stillness of “It Ain’t Right” feels more in line with Trees with its overcast flute than anything out of the Canyon. That flute returns for the closer, “Polly Come Home,” an excellent balance between psych-folk chill and sun-baked tang. The last few years have been packed with releases overflowing at the edges, and it’s very possible that The Luckiest Hippy Alive got swept along with the tide at first blush. It’s well worth dipping back in as 2022 turns to Autumn, though.
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