Album review: “Ben Jarrell’s debut album, “Troubled Times”

Listening to Ben Jarrell’s debut LP album, “Troubled Times“, is like taking the DeLorean and time-travelling to this time where country music was born. The 10 songs included in this masterpiece of country music are revealing all the talent of this singer from South Alabama, now living in Nashville.

Recorded at Southern Ground Studios, in “Music city“, “Troubled Times” was released on March 29th. Ben Jarrell had previously released an EP album, last year, including 5 songs. One of them, “Nocturne”, had its music video released on August 30th 2018.

Let me tell you that I’m really very enthusiast with this album. I listened to it a lot of times since it was released and several songs are one of my favorite songs of 2019 till this date. When listening to “Troubled Times“, I inmediatly think about Whitey Morgan, Cody Jinks, Dallas Moore or Dillon Carmichael. But if I get away from our contemporary era, it’s Waylon Jennings’ figure that will come to my mind.

If I’m particularly impressed by the quality of the songwriting,  the first thing that strikes me is the excellence of its instrumental part. Mike Daly (pedal steel) and his son Steve (lead guitar), Kevin Black (bassist of Margo Price and ex bassist of Sturgill Simpson) and Taylor Powell (drums) made an incredible work. The result is the best country album I have listened to in 2019 so far.


If I want to explain to my friends, in France, what actual country music is, the best thing I can do is tell them: “Well, let’s listen to “Black helicopter” first. Then we can talk!”. With this impressive song, we have the perfect expression of what outlaw country is in 2019.

My second favorite song on this album is probably “The Flyer“. Its amazing bass and guitar riffs remind me some excellent ol’ rock songs of the beginning of the 80’s.

With the powerful and catchy country rock song “Big iron train“, Ben Jarrell’s voice is particularly highlighted.

Gearjammer blues” and “Highway Whine” are maybe the songs that most let me think about Waylon Jennings. I wish country radios would play this kind of song all day long.

Marissa” and the acoustic “My old friend” are excellent country ballads, perfectly written. So is “Daddy’s Prison Radio“, which tells a true story about Ben Jarrell’s father.

The album perfectly begins with “Troubled times in a tribal town“, a catchy song that tells us a story about a guy who finds a lover and murders her, and perfectly ends with “Colorado Bound“, with its impressive drums and guitar riffs.

Troubled times” is a gem and Ben Jarrell is definitely a name that every country music lover has to know.

Nicolas Davelu

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