It’s been a long time since Christian musician, producer, record label head, and author Charlie Peacock has released an album of new vocal material. But he’s been busy. He’s released instrumental jazz albums, written a few books, gotten a seminary degree, and produced dozens of albums for people like Amy Grant and, more recently, The Civil Wars.
Peacock's solo albums are stylistically varied but usually lean toward jazz-flavored pop. For No Man’s Land, though, Peacock wanted to honor the music of his grandparents—roots music from Louisiana and Oklahoma. In his jazz work Peacock’s expressive and innovative piano is out front, but on this album the piano takes a back seat to acoustic guitars, steel guitars, and fiddles.
There are moments on this album when the band seems to really cut loose and play with abandon. It’s great to hear these crack musicians dig in to such well-constructed music. But Peacock is a thinking person’s artist, and occasionally I find myself wondering if he thinks too much—the songs can seem just a little too clean and a little too clever. One of his songs is even titled “Thinkin’ Till the Crack of Dawn.” If that’s a problem, it’s a small one. No Man’s Land is a fine album that will please long-time Charlie Peacock fans and many others as well. (101 Distribution)