Colter Wall and the stories of Imaginary Appalachia find the bleakness of life that first gave rise to country music in its HTML5 Icon primitive, early forms. A song like “Caroline” is both sweet and tragic, while the unrepentant tone of “Ballad of a Law Abiding Sophisticate” has all the blood of “Folsom Prison,” without an ounce of the regret, making the result that much sinister. Colter Wall is a master of mood, and his voice and image fits the part with eerie perfection. The coldness of “Living on the Sand” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Nothin'” is bone penetrating.


Songs of the Plains are the types of tales told arounda crackling fire, those of homesickness (“Plain to See Plainsman”), blue-collar labor (“The Trains Are Gone”), and folk heroes writ large (“Wild Bill Hickok”). This is Wall’s attempt to put HTML5 Icon Canada more squarely into country’s storyline. He covers two cowboy traditionals, “Night Herding Song” and “Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail,” singing the former almost entirely a cappella and shifting its original jaunt into something more somber, haunted.