Hussey – “Ground Me”

“…Ground Me enables listeners to look past All Get Out and view Hussey as a separate entity worthy of its own fan base.” – Sarah Sedghi

Sarra Sedghi

8.5
out of 10

Hussey
Ground Me
August 6th, 2013
Self Released

Let’s go ahead and set the record straight. Hussey is not All Get Out 2.0; neither is it the AGO front man sitting alone playing acoustic guitar, if that’s how you envision side projects. Despite its proximity to the band’s significant lineup change – that is, Mike Rogers and Mel Washington’s departure – I don’t think Ground Me signals the end of All Get Out. Hussey calls his solo project an opportunity to show fans another side of his writing, and Ground Me definitely delivers that. Ground Me isn’t simply an outlet for similar songs under a new moniker. Here, the sound is intimate and distinct – something that is not All Get Out, but instead is Nate.

This album surprised me, because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Neither is it predictable. There’s a good balance of expression here, and several songs turn around on you – but it works and makes those songs better. A good example of this is “What Do You Know,” which starts out as raw and quiet, but quickly gains momentum and becomes really pleasant. The tempo and mood changes that “Ground Me” undergoes help it become one of the best songs on the album. The album’s arrangement succeeds in bringing out the defining qualities of each song. For example, “Angry Men,” the opener, catches your attention – and that’s good, because it’s followed by one of the strongest tracks on the album, beautiful, gentle, and poignant “Ravenel.” This skillful contrast appears again in the relationship between energetic “No One” and solemn “Persona Non Grata,” (I will say that the guitar in “Persona Non Grata” sounds like a transposed “Time and Place,” but the song takes a different direction after thirty seconds, once again proving my expectations wrong), and the procession in the latter half of the album. Every song is emphasized and brought out to its full potential, which is great because they’re all worth a listen.

I cannot stress enough how much this album personifies Nate. I’ve had the privilege of spending several birthdays and a bit of downtime with him, though, so perhaps I am biased. But Nate is down-to-earth and brotherly and grounded, and a lot of that side is shown in the album. And what went into the album works. It was recorded well. Nate is a good guitarist, and I’m fond of his singing voice. Of course, Hussey is not the only player here. Much of the album’s solidity can be attributed to Nick Jenkins, whose drumming carries the album very well – minus “Well Water,” where Hussey plays every instrument, and even the drumming sounds distinctly his. So does Hussey sound like All Get Out? Yes, vocally. You’re not going to be able to get around that. But Ground Me enables listeners to look past All Get Out and view Hussey as a separate entity worthy of its own fan base.

August 27th, 2013 – Sarah Sedghi