Off to Join the World

Off to Join the World

by Blaine LarsenBlaine Larsen


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Looking at the cover of Blaine Larsen's 2005 major-label debut Off to Join the World -- which is a reconfigured version of his first album, In My High School, released on an indie about six months before Off -- it's easy to think that the youthful, clean-cut singer is about 14-years-old, a cloying novelty along the lines of Billy Gilman. First impressions are often misleading, as the music on this lean 11-track album makes clear. Larsen possesses a rich, full baritone reminiscent of his idol George Strait -- a sound that sure shouldn't be coming from a kid who looks like he's yet to learn how to shave. Preternaturally gifted youngsters are not uncommon in country music -- for instance, LeAnn Rimes came storming on to the scene at the age of 14, sounding like a dead ringer for Patsy Cline, and Tanya Tucker started her career when she was 13 -- but often the raw talent isn't yet supported by technique. That's not the case with Larsen. He knows how to deliver a song, whether it's ramping up the sentiment or slyly tossing off a punchline, which is something that does not come easily to young singers, as any regular viewer of American Idol can attest. Larsen not only has that technique down, but he has excellent taste, sticking to the straight-ahead neo-traditionalist country that made Strait a star, writing and picking hooky, memorable songs. Some of these tunes have more than their fair share of country corn, but they're so unapologetic and spirited, they're quite charming, as is the whole of Off to Join the World. Blaine Larsen may not have quite yet broken free of his influences on this debut, but he sounds as if he's absorbed their lessons, beginning to turn what he's learned from Strait, Alan Jackson and Merle Haggard into something of his own, both as a vocalist and a fledgling songwriter (he's penned just over half of the songs here, and there's not a bad tune in the bunch). In the process, he's delivered a terrific debut album, one that qualifies as a totally unexpected and wholly enjoyable surprise.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/25/2005
Label: Bna Entertainment
UPC: 0828766601220
catalogNumber: 66012
Rank: 149579

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blaine Larsen   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Rob Crosby   Vocal Harmony
Merle Haggard   Vocals
Paul Overstreet   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Bruce Bouton   Steel Guitar
Spady Brannan   Bass,Bass Guitar
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Larry Franklin   Fiddle,Mandolin
Tony Harrell   Electric Guitar
Chris Leuzinger   Electric Guitar
B. James Lowry   Acoustic Guitar
Jerry McPherson   Electric Guitar
Russ Pahl   Dobro
Danny Parks   Electric Guitar
Michael Rhodes   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jonathan Yudkin   Fiddle,Mandolin
Michael Spriggs   Acoustic Guitar
Jimmy Nichols   Piano,Background Vocals
Joey Martin   Vocals,Background Vocals
Tommy Harden   Drums
Sean Patrick McGraw   Background Vocals
Pete Hutlinger   Acoustic Guitar
Mike Johnson   Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Rob Crosby   Composer
Skip Ewing   Composer
Paul Overstreet   Composer
Shawn Camp   Composer
Bill Decker   Engineer
Tony Green   Engineer
S. Wade Hunt   Art Direction
Kelley Lovelace   Composer
Bill McDermott   Engineer
Blaine Larsen   Composer,Instrumentation
Clint Higham   Management
Michael Betterton   Management
James Dean Hicks   Composer
Rory Feek   Audio Production
Jamie Teachenor   Composer
Tim Johnson   Audio Production

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