Between 1997 and 2008, Last Train Home released six LPs, three EPs, and a live concert DVD, while playing steadily across the country, in the Caribbean, and throughout Europe. In June 2019, Brace (who has been collaborating with Nashville songwriters Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz for the past decade), rounded up his LTH cohorts in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Nashville, for studio sessions that would become the band’s 10th recording. With Brace’s evocative songwriting and his sublime choices of covers, the album’s 14 songs make an album that passes the drive test: Take a road trip, put on Daytime Highs and Overnight Lows, start at the top and listen all the way down.
Trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, accordion, pedal steel guitar, glockenspiel—not to mention layers of acoustic and electric guitars and shimmering harmonies weaving with Brace’s warm lead vocals—offer a particular richness to the overall work. They’ll surprise you with a Barry White cover, make your heart ache with the elegiac “Old Railroads” and “Dear Lorraine,” and make you shake it with their Monkees-inspired “Wake Up, We’re in Love.” From the pure piano-pop of “Happy Is” to the near bluegrass of “Sleepy Eyes,” Last Train Home takes whatever styles strike its fancy and blends them into its own singular sound.
The album was engineered, mixed, and co-produced (with Brace) by Jared Bartlett and has a long list of collaborators.