Jon Hatchett Band, “Mother Nature Wins Again” (Independent)


A native of Massachusetts, Hatchett’s been kicking around New Orleans since 2009. In 2014, the Jon Hatchett Band debuted at Rock ’n’ Bowl. Hatchett describes his country-psychobilly sound as “spiderbilly.” That invented term helps explain Hatchett’s frequent walks and romps on the dark side of the country street. Hatchett brightens the darkness he chronicles, however, with his dryly humorous lyrics, characters and stories.

In “Another Night Gone Wrong,” Hatchett sings of life’s pitfalls with a good-natured wink. “Another night gone wrong, another honky-tonk song. But I feel so alive. I’ll be stepping out every single night.” And when bullets fly in a tavern by the levee, Hatchett declares, “New Orleans, Louisiana, if we don’t make it out alive, I hope to see you on the other side.”

Hatchett celebrates living on the edge in “All for the Thrill,” a country-rock party song distinguished by the psychobilly, end-of-the-world vibe. In the self-destructive party vein, too, there’s the hillbilly-style “You Can’t Regret What You Don’t Remember.”

While the latter song is unapologetic, the singer expresses bottomless regret in the dirge-like “Was the Feeling Last Night Worth the Feeling Right Now?” Afflicted by the hangover from hell, he sings, “My body and soul feel dried up.”

Hatchett recorded Mother Nature Wins Again at Joel Savoy’s Savoy Faire Studios in Eunice. “I Wanna Be in Love,” a reverb-drenched torch song, is a great example of the album’s big and rich sound.

Hatchett’s songwriting, fun though the songs often are, could use more polish and cultivation. His lyrics, especially, can grow mundane and repetitive. From a writing perspective, “Way Down in the Cut,” written by the Deslondes’ John James Tourville, is the album’s best composition. Hatchett and the band do a fine rendition of it.