The latest album from Richard Lynch, titled Think I’ll Carry It On, starts off in red, white and blue-painted grandiosity with “We’re American Proud,” a countrified American anthem that sets the tone for the eleven erudite tracks that will follow it. The hustle and bustle of this opening salvo’s string play stops on a dime and gives way to the slow-churning ballad “Love Tattoo,” which features dual vocals from Lynch and Ronnie McDowell, who adds a bittersweet texture to the song that simply wouldn’t have been there otherwise. We segue directly into “Pray on the Radio,” a befitting gospel follow-up to the moving military tribute that preceded it, and as we push further into the tracklist, the chill-factor only gets stronger.
Leona Williams teams up with Lynch for “Another Honky Tonk Song,” and the two conjure up a melodic vocal harmony that, even without the other material here, makes Think I’ll Carry It On a must-listen for devout country music disciples. “You Can’t Stay Here” picks up the tempo a bit and dishes out a flamboyant fretwork that is only matched by the bluesy voice of our lead singer, who is in his element and sounding more relaxed behind the microphone than he ever has in past outings. The swagger of this track bleeds right into the retrospective rhythm of “The Old Feed Store,” which features one of the more plaintive lyrical structures of any on the album. The percussion pulsates like a beating heart that’s just found its other half, but it’s never able to overtake the unfiltered glow of Lynch’s grooving verses.
“Back in 1953” continues the contemplative theme set up by “The Old Feed Store,” but takes a more elegiac twist than what I initially expected it to. “Keyboard Cowboy” brings in Donna Lynch for a little bit of self-aware fun that primes us for the rock n’ roll-threaded “Fast Times and Easy Money” like nothing else could have. It’s a rebellious interlude that makes “Daddy’s Guitar” go down easier than it would have were it presented to us earlier on in the LP, and along with “One Breath Away,” has some of the most charismatic guitar work that listeners will find in Think I’ll Carry It On.
Richard Lynch brings us full circle with “They Don’t Play ‘Em Like That,” a track that, for all intents and purposes, summarizes the underlying narrative in this record more bluntly than any other song here does. Think I’ll Carry It On is a larger than life offering from a modest country singer/songwriter who has demonstrated nothing but love for his medium since first wowing us back in 2013 with The Last of a Dying Breed. I’ve never been a huge fan of mainstream Nashville bravado, but when it comes to the music of Richard Lynch, the authenticity of the content is too potent an element for even the snobbiest of fans to dismiss as anything other than pure magic. It’s no wonder why he’s garnered the praise and attention that he has in the last few years when listening to this LP, and something tells me that this won’t be the last time that he draws as much buzz as he has recently.