Riley Green : “Way Out Here” EP Review

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Image Courtesy of Nashville Harbor Records & Entertainment

Released last Friday (via Nashville Harbour Records & EntertainmentRiley Green’s new EP “Way Out Here“ is bound to please his existing fanbase who will already be familiar with the majority of the songs, several of which have made the set list of his current stateside tour including his impressive cover of Springsteen’s “Atlantic City”. The seven song collection, whose title track was released last month, also includes his current single at Country Radio, “Damn Good Day To Leave” from his most recent album, the heart wrenching fan favourite “Jesus Saves” and viral hit “Worst Way”. 

But for those of us (yes, myself included) who are new to Riley’s music (apologies for being extremely late to the party, those of you who know me will not be surprised) this EP is a fantastic introduction to the Alabama based artist. 

There’s so much variety across the tracks and he is equally impressive delivering the mid-tempo, tongue in cheek and very catchy break up song  “Good Morning From Mexico“ which takes a clever turn after the opening few lines (that fiddle at the beginning too!) as he is the aforementioned thought provoking “Jesus Saves”. This opening track pulled me in from the very start with its narrative style and stripped back accompaniment as Riley discovers the misfortunate downturns one man’s life has taken.

As well as being my favourite tracks on the EP these two songs are incidentally two of the three solo writes from Riley, who has co-writing credits on a further couple. Alongside the Springsteen cover there is just one outside cut, the title track, which even before I looked at the writing credits didn’t connect with me but I’m sure this ballad will resonate with those living in rural America. 

I’ve already mentioned the inclusion of one fantastic break up song, and that is followed on the track listing by another in a similar vein that also sees Riley celebrating new found freedom.  On “Damn Good Day To Leave” Riley reels off all the favourite things he can now do as a singleton, he is definitely not the heartbroken guy he assumed he would be if they ever broke up, or as he puts it he’d always “pictured it’d be pouring down rain with old Hank singing some song about trains”.  There’s such fantastic electric and steel guitar among the drum driven accompaniment and I’m not surprised that this was chosen to go to Country Radio where it immediately made a huge impact. 

What better way to follow those two fun, crazy tracks than with an out and out love song, and the beautiful ballad “Pick A Place” is exactly that, showcasing Riley’s mellow side. Wanting to “wash away the past“ he’s happy to go anywhere where hearts don’t break” and is leaving it up to his partner to “pick a placeI’ll pick you up”. This track has been the biggest “grower” for me, it could easily have become be an over sentimental write but I think hits just the right balance. 

That brings me to the closing track, “Worst Way”, another gentle love song in lilting 6/8 time … but one with rather a raunchy message! “My hands are needin’ your hips, want the first taste of whiskey to be off your lips”, yes, he’s hoping for a night of passion starting as soon as his partner walks through the door. 

I’m really enjoying this EP in every way, from the songwriting through to the the arrangements and Riley’s vocal delivery.  There’s definitely enough of the classic country sound and storytelling I tend to favour and I’ll be busy checking out Riley’s back catalogue that, as mentioned earlier, has passed me by.

Listen to the EP here!bio

Way Out Here Track List

  1. Jesus Saves (Riley Green)
  2. Way Out Here (Casey Beathard, David Lee Murphy, Josh Thompson)
  3. Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen)
  4. Good Morning from Mexico (Riley Green)
  5. Damn Good Day to Leave(Riley Green, Erik Dylan, Jonathan Singleton, Nick Walsh) 
  6. Pick a Place (Riley Green, Erik Dylan) 
  7. Worst Way (Riley Green)

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