Somewhere between the rough edges of Texas Red Dirt and the expansive, open guitars of the American Midwest, Logan Mize is writing his own musical story. Nobody In Nashville, the 26-year-old’s sophomore album, blends themes of Texas artists like Pat Green and Reckless Kelly with the steady-rockin’ approach of Heartland icons like Tom Petty and John Mellencamp. The result is a thumping 10-song collection on life, love, the road and why a little self-reflection can be a good thing.
Hailing from Kansas, it makes sense that the big guitar sounds that carried classics like Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” and “Runnin’ Down A Dream” would have an effect on the young singer/songwriter. On Nobody In Nashville, songs like “State of Your Heart” and “High & Dry” prominently feature a loud and proud rhythm section while Logan’s seasoned rasp recalls Pat Green with hints of Lone Star native Robert Earl Keen. On “Hey Carolina,” a midtempo break-up song full of highway imagery, Logan sings out, Hey Carolina, I never needed you anyway / The February weather’s nice in Kansas and I’m really okay, in true troubadour fashion. It’s lines like these that also hint at the subtle self-aware and reflective lyrics throughout the record.
I’m just three chords and one big break from telling the whole world the honest truth, Logan sings on the amped up title-cut “Nobody In Nashville.” While he’s discussing the loneliness that comes with heartbreak, there’s also an undercurrent of awareness of where he’s at in his career. Later in the album, on the reflective and wishful “Rock N Roll Band,” Logan admits, I’ve been 16 now for most of my life, singing about his dream of making the big time. Lines like these can pass in an instant, but they offer a unique glimpse at the artist himself.
Logan wrote or co-wrote every song on Nobody In Nashville in addition to co-producing the record with Daniel Tashian. While the tempo of the record maintains its heightened pulse throughout, the album’s strongest tracks come during the second half. “Sunflowers,” which might be the album’s best song, sets off a string of highlights that carries through to the end. They say some souls were just born to run, Logan sings on the galloping “Sunflowers,” before offering the warm line, I’m drawn to the West where I come from like a sunflower follows the sun. The building energy and youthful nostalgia of “Good Life” is contagious, and really, how can you beat a song that works in a subtle reference to the classic Chevy Chase comedy National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? See if you can spot it. It’s quick, but it’s there.
Logan sets himself apart from other Music Row artists on Nobody In Nashville. Even collaborations with hit Nashville songwriters like Liz Rose (co-writer of ACM Song of the Year “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band) on “I Remember Everything” take on Logan’s distinctive drawl and full-throttle sound as he sings, I remember everything burning like a candle at the back of my mind. And on Nobody In Nashville, the candle burns with an infectious energy through Logan’s sharp tongue and musical urgency.
Key Tracks – “Sunflowers,” “Good Life,” “I Give In,” “Rock N Roll Band”