Despite his debut album’s title A Step Behind, Alex Blizzy is always a step forward, not behind. Blending old with new and country with shades of Americana, Blizzy excels as a songwriter and performer in the genre alongside his bandmates. His backing band consists of Tom Glynn (guitar/piano/backing vocals), Evan Phillips (lead guitar), Kate Atanian (organ/keys/backing vocals), Zack Lamb (bass) and Andrew Cusanelli (drums).
Nine songs were recorded and released on A Step Behind, with one of them (“These Footsteps”) having done quite well in several different songwriting competitions. The Nashville, TN-based artist has a promising future ahead of him, and it’s exemplified by each of these nine unique compositions. Beginning with the title track “A Step Behind,” Blizzy paints a vivid picture of his ambitions in life with razor-sharp hooks and electric guitars that have lots of presence and treble. I think this song is definitely ready to be released as a single.
“Drinking Town” is the most “heartland rock” cut on Blizzy’s debut. It ticks all the boxes for that sort of genre as well: steady, driving drum beats, lyrics describing small-town life, rollicking guitar lines, etc. Once we arrive at the slowly-paced “Wrong End of Goodbye,” Blizzy exposes his more vulnerable side. With this cut, he laments failed relationships, unmet potential and dreams that never came true over twangy instrumentation.
“These Footsteps,” may just have the strongest music to back it up. I appreciate the subtle touches of organ/keys and the gentle brush of the drums. Lyrically, it tells a good story about Blizzy following in his father’s footsteps. Rockabilly number, “Comin’ for You,” is by far the most upbeat song on the record, and while it absolutely sounds like it belongs in a ‘50s jukebox, its cute guitar solo in the middle helps this track take flight.
“Even the Strongest Girls” is easily the best ballad on the album. Its music is some of the most pleasant, AOR-inflected country pop I’ve heard in some time, whereas its lyrics are still uniquely Blizzy. Lastly, the album reaches its conclusion with “Never Felt Better,” where again, the tune is pleasant, even blissful. Sure, it’s slow and depressing, but it’s comforting to know that, alongside the gentle acoustic strumming, he has found solace in feeling down.
Alex Blizzy pours his heart into every single song on his debut album A Step Behind. He and his bandmates are quite good at what they do. It’ll be exciting to see where all of Blizzy’s hardships take him next. As for now, this album will entertain and inspire others to follow in his footsteps.