Growing Up Is Getting Old

Growing Up Is Getting Old

On his 2009 sophomore album, Jason Michael Carroll delivers a down-home yet classy set of country tunes in the manner of a latter-day Garth Brooks. The North Carolina native leans more towards poignant sketches of ordinary life than hellacious party tunes. The importance of family is a reoccurring theme, whether in terms of a separated father’s love for his child (“Tears”), the search for a prodigal daughter (“Hurry Home”), or the struggles of young parents (“We Threw It All Away”). Carroll also sings affectingly of his small-town roots in the buoyant “Where I’m From.” The upbeat Southern rockers – especially “Happened on a Saturday Night (Suzie Q)” and “Barn Burner” – are full of Wild Turkey, smoked pig and barroom fights, topped off with twanging guitars and squealing fiddles. Producer Don Gehman — best known for his work with John Mellencamp — leaves enough rough edges to give these tracks a measure of individuality. Growing Up Is Getting Old is a confident, well-realized release by an artist just hitting his stride.

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