Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews


Rising to notoriety behind Tim McGraw hits, the viral self-deprecation of "Asshole," and as Kacey Musgraves' husband, Ruston Kelly makes a more official mark with debut LP Dying Star. The Nashville-based artist plays stylistic chameleon, from the pop swell of "Cover My Tracks," vocoder ballad "Son of a Highway Daughter," contemporary country hook of "Mockingbird," and easy rolling stumble odes "Faceplant" and "Blackout." Kelly's natural narrative and lyrical talent becomes plain as the album settles behind "Mercury," "Trying to Let Her," and "Jericho." Dying Star fills with gems, even as Kelly remains somewhat elusive. (1:30pm, BMI stage)

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Jesse Atwell