Drew Blackard on December 31, 1969
If you think that Right About Now I'd Like To Move To Austin And Buy A Purple House is a rather long title for a record, know that it's also the title of the first song on this five-track EP and that the song is seven and a half minutes long. Know, also, that the song is quite good. Starting a disc with a "Hey Jude"-length number, particularly if you're a basically unknown artist, would seem to be an ill-fated proposition...but in this case it works out just fine. That's largely because, despite its epic run-time, the song isn't epic in tone or aspirations. Really it's all about setting a mood and Drew Blackard accomplishes that beautifully. Atmospheric keyboard washes fade up slowly, gradually giving rise to simple acoustic guitar strums followed by Blackard's unassuming voice declaring his grand plan: "I'd like to move on down, to Austin town, buy a purple house, let the weeds grow out." If the disc's other four songs offer no big surprises or breakthroughs, they're all pleasant listens, and suitable companions to that entrancing title track. "Fallen Mockingbird" is a little more upbeat, simple but catchy, and tastefully arranged. "Swallow My Pride" bounces along to jaunty electric piano; "I Don't Know" weaves in some slightly spacey fiddle and banjo runs; and "I Have An Island" closes the disc on a more somber, stately, lonely note. This is apparently the second of two five-song EPs that, so far, comprise the whole of Blackard's catalog. Whether there's anything larger-scale or more conspicuous to come from this Texas upstart remains to be seen/heard; meantime, this one marks time well spent, in both the making and the listening. Regardless of whether he ever made it to that purple house.