- Released: April 24, 2001
- Label: Merge Records
Entertainment Weekly - 5/4/01, p.71
"...The music - spare honky-tonk harmonica shuffles, and '30s-style jazz, wrapped in a Dylan-meets-Roy Acuff sensibbility 0 can be remarkably transcendent..." - Rating: B+
No Depression - 7-8/01, pp.118-9
"...So self-contained, so universal, so sing-along tuneful, so filled with mountain yodels and fatalism that they might have been passed down from one front-porch picker to another over the past 70 years."
Mojo (Publisher) - 12/01, p.98
"...A record of considerable charm..."
- 1.Aliceville Rag
- 2.Up on the Mountain
- 3.Living up to the Man You See in Me
- 4.Harvey Hartsell's Farm
- 5.Mama Shoot the Blackbirds
- 6.Going to the Carnival
- 7.Country Boys in a City Alley
- 8.Sun Don't Shine
- 11.Amos's Blues
- 12.Last of My Kind
All of the songs on LAST OF MY KIND were inspired by Tony Early's novel JIM, THE BOY.
Recorded in East Nashville, Tennessee. Includes liner notes by Paul Burch and Tony Earley.
Last of My Kind may be the first ever soundtrack to a book. Nashville musician Paul Burch wrote the gritty folk tunes on the album as an accompaniment to his friend Tony Earley's Depression-era coming-of-age novel, Jim the Boy. Like Earley's universal Mark Twain-esque story, Burch's songs come right from Americans' subconscious, from the collective myth of Americana crystallized in Huck Finn, Tom Joad, and Jay Gatsby. With a similar flair to the Coen brothers' barn-raising O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, Last of My Kind fits well with the raspy narratives, creepy ballads, and back-porch stomps of Harry Smith's brilliant Anthology of American Folk Music. Burch's songs have their own stories to tell, whether he's singing of the game of life in a pure, clear voice on "Up on the Mountain"
("Where the honeysuckle grows/The world below laid out plain for me to see like a board of Monopoly") or recounting the story of a murderous farmer in the spooky shuffle "Harvey Hartsell's Farm." Burch's brilliance lies in the fact that he has created a period album pulled out of the past but imbued with a contemporary relevance and resonance that make it just as poignant as a novel of the same sort. As he sings in the title track, "Today I came to realize that I am the last of my kind." ~ Charles Spano