The fact that “Heirloom,” the sophomore full-length album from singer/songwriter Jesse Payne has even seen the light of day is a victory unto itself. That the record is flat-out fantastic, well, that’s just icing on the cake. Pearson started recording the 11-track release three years ago, only to see the money run out before it could be completed.
The Alabama native turned to his fans for help, launching a successful musicraiser.com crowd-funding campaign that generated the $11,000-plus he needed to ensure that “Heirloom” would be released. And boy am I glad it did. I was unfamiliar with Payne’s previous work (a couple EPs and 2010 full-length “Nesting”), but after several spins of the new record you better believe I’ll be trying to track down copies of those earlier efforts.
“Heirloom” is a low-key affair and not the kind of record that’s going to get your toes a-tapping. But thanks to Payne’s gifts as a songwriter, it’s a power record that is sure to leave an impression long after the CD stops spinning. Among the many highlights here are “Ulysses,” “Numerical War,” “Origins,” “Room Under Rugs,” “Trenches” and “Bear Flag Revolt.” Highly recommended. (Jeffrey Sisk)