Lyman Ellerman’s new album, I Wish I Was A Train, was released on August 10, 2018, via Woodshed Resistance Records. Teaming up again with long time collaborator Jason Morgan, Ellerman and Morgan take listeners on a brilliant, but moody and sometimes dark, poetic journey. The album feeds on Ellerman’s past, and personal experiences, making this listening voyage a true masterpiece from the first downbeat to the final note . Along the way, you will hear the many and diverse tones of classic honky tonk with a bit of folk, blues, jazz and a lot of country.
“…Count your friends by their fortunes / The pompous proud elite / Bound and chained to their treasures / Shackled to their feet…” is a line from the albums first song, Bigger Plans. Lyman Ellerman sets the tone with a fast paced, honky tonk tune filled with guitars and lyrics that will capture the listeners full attention. “His voice is as sinister as it is somehow soothing, almost transforming into this all-knowing presence taking your hand and reassuring you everything will be OK in the end.” (https://lymanellermanandco.com/bio) After Lyman Ellerman gains your full attention, he then turns the mood to a somber, but powerful message that has affected millions of Americans. Addiction.
The second tune on the album, The Addict, hits very close to home for Lyman Ellerman. The song is from a sober point of view, looking into the addiction of his own son. “At the time, he was using and trying to get me to accept him the way that he was,” Ellerman says. “Of course, I accepted him, but I told him I couldn’t really understand where he was coming from, from a clean person’s point of view.” Ellerman pinned the tune before his son had passed away and insisted that his son listen to it for approval. “He got to hear the song. I wasn’t going to do anything with it unless I had his OK. He thought it could help somebody. So, we decide to add it onto the record, I’m still hoping it can touch somebody along the way.” (https://lymanellermanandco.com/bio)
The album barrels on down the rails with the title track, I Wish I Was A Train. This song provides the listener with the sense that Ellerman would like to become numb to the pain he has felt in his past. “Sometimes I wish I was a train / Pulling memories and mothers, outlaws and lovers / I could disconnect the pleasure from the pain.” The title track on this album is as country as country can get. I Wish I Was A Train provides the solid trunk for which the other songs can form a strong branch, allowing them to blow in the wind on their own.
This album has been described and pinned by other publications to be “Alt-Country” as well as “Americana”. While that may ring true in today’s world of “pop” and “mainstream country”, this album deserves to be championed as what it is, Country. But for now, the cult of the “Americana” genre has another great album to put into their current rotation, myself included. Give this entire production a listen. From Ditches to Here Comes Tomorrow are all worthy of their own individual review. But I don’t want to keep ya’ll around here any longer. Get on over to your favorite listening device and get this album in your ear!
You can find Lyman Ellerman’s upcoming live shows here: https://lymanellermanandco.com/tour-dates