[Review] Ryan Hutchens – The Last Ten Years

There’s something to be said about folk music that originates Southeast of the Rockies – it usually stems from a different breed of musicians. Ryan Hutchens embodies this more diverse caste of folk artistry, with a peaceful and less trite type of music than most on The Last Ten Years. Hutchens is an effortlessly serene artist, with an ear towards the atmospheric side of Americana rather than trying to fit in the mold of outlaws or attempt to characterize glib southern life on record. Though wholly his own story, The Last Ten Years is not just Hutchens’ arrival at a retrospective in South Carolina living, rather, it is the work of a highly attuned singer-songwriter.

Hutchens’ reflection on the last decade in South Carolina may best be summed up by “Education,” a tender reflection of personal growth. However, The Last Ten Years isn’t simply an album of reflection as it relates to purporting a well-earned cautionary tale – sometimes it’s about simply missing his former state of residence. “The Landing” exemplifies this point well, with Hutchens’ painting a portrait of a simpler time as it progresses over the years.

The Last Ten Years takes on a sound that is folk-roots, nearly reminiscent of British Isles Folk. Much like the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack, Hutchens allows his voice and delicate guitar work to synthesize into a whole sound, not relying on a menagerie of ancillary instrumentation to propel his record forward.

A relatively early release in Hutchens’ career, one imagines futures ventures will stay true to form as found in The Last Ten Years. Stay tuned for more relatable and honest tunes.

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