Jeb Loy Nichols

Easy Now

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It took Nichols three albums and five years to get to a comfort zone. Easy Now slows things down quite a bit, and Nichols, soaking in the black-holed sunshine of it all, eases into the role of new-millennium sensitive singer/songwriter. The album is bookended by the two best songs he's written: "Letter to an Angel" and "Never Coming Back." They not only serve as thematic opener and closer to an album pretty much centered on the opening and closing of life's little and big things, but they're also a bit of hope for Nichols the singer/songwriter. It's like when James Taylor -- a historical and musical ancestor -- finally found what he wanted to do with his voice, the moment between Warner Bros. and Columbia, between In the Pocket and JT. Just call him Sweet Baby Jeb.

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