Hang in There, Baby

Brother JT

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Hang in There, Baby Review

by Heather Phares

An album as surprisingly warm as Indian summer, Hang in There, Baby continues the more accessible bent of Brother JT's work. As with Spirituals, here JT uses the Brother JT 3 name and balances the poppier side of his sound with plunges into its deepest, most psychedelic realms. Unlike JT's previous album, however, Hang in There, Baby features a surprisingly clean production by Dan McKinney and JT himself that gives the fuzzy "Brother Brother" and jangly "Gettin' There" an extra sweetness while retaining the influence of the Byrds, Skip Spence, and Roky Erickson. Circumscribed by two of its loveliest tracks -- the aforementioned "Brother Brother" and "Move On," a soulful ballad that turns into a noisy, elongated jam -- the album becomes increasingly psychedelic as it unfolds, with "Shine Like Me" delivering a sneering take on garage-psych that should make many garage rock revivalists jealous. On this track and the droning, sullen "Head Business," JT finds the perfect balance between the album's pop leanings and his tendencies toward guitar freakouts and experimentalism. The album's deepest acid excursions, "Let's Not and Say We Did" and a fried reworking of "Dry Bones," display some intense pyrotechnics that rival JT's contemporaries in Bardo Pond, but don't mesh well with Hang in There, Baby's more song-oriented tracks. Even though this album is straighter than most of his music, it's still a decent addition to Brother JT's ever-growing body of work.

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