When Aaron Einhouse makes music, he creates with a deep reverence for the world’s greatest storytellers and admiration for the great men who came before him. Einhouse explores life, love and heartache with his fourth studio album It Ain’t Pretty, which is his most imaginative and literary music to date.
But Einhouse comes by his creative process honestly. The family man and father of two is always studying. When he is not with family, onstage or in the studio, he can be found touring the country in a passenger van (named Vaän), listening to audio books and writing songs. The long hours on overnight road trips to the next town on tour serve as Einhouse’s office time. He is also an avid reader who packs Charles Bukowski on hunting trips.
“I like using foreshadowing and twists,” Einhouse says. “When you’re singing a song, you can make people feel things through music that you can’t do when you’re just telling the story.”
Tracked at The Panhandle House in Denton, Texas with Erik Herbst, the 10-song collection opens with the roadhouse scorcher “Dancin’” about balancing family life with a life on the edge. Einhouse co-wrote the country rocker “That’s What You Get” with Johnny Chops Richardson (Randy Rogers Band) about living with bad decisions. “If we all just did what our mama said and learn from our mistakes,” Einhouse says, “we’d all have better lives. But maybe they wouldn’t be quite as interesting. People never learn.”
Einhouse sings about embracing life’s harsher truths in the slide guitar-led title track, which he co-wrote with Hal Ketchum. Einhouse sings, “I’m here to tell you it’s all wrong / I’ve been lied to by fairy tales and songs.” “A huge recurring theme in the record is the duality of life,” Einhouse says. “Love can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. But you’ve got to go through hard times to appreciate the good times. On my previous albums, I don’t think I necessarily really embraced that side of writing. I am at that stage where I want to write whatever feels real.”
The slow-rolling “Like Rock ‘n’ Roll” offers a sexy look at what it feels like to fall in love under the influence of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, while Einhouse gets honest about what it’s like to be married to music in “On and On.”
Einhouse captures heartache and moving on with the honky tonk cheating song “My Susannah,” the unrequited love ballad “Thinking of You” and the closing breakup anthem “I’m Done.” “The Fall of Eli Wilde” is a fictitious mountain man epic that is loosely inspired by a Sam Houston speech and the 1972 western Jeremiah Johnson starring Robert Redford.
The Americana parable “The Richest Man” honors the wisdom Einhouse’s late grandfather shared over lunch at his favorite burger joint Captain Billy Whizbang’s. “We’d walk in there,” he says, “and they all knew him because he ate there every other day. He was always messing around with them. So when he came in smiling, they’d say, ‘Oh, here he is.’ He was a jovial guy and liked to kid around. Those are some of my most vivid memories – sitting there eating with him and talking.”
Einhouse has built a loyal following with his previous releases — Blue Collar Troubadour, Hello Road and Off the Edge and by touring tirelessly across the country. His new album It Ain’t Pretty is already critically acclaimed in No Depression, Elmore Magazine, AOL, Whiskey Riff, Roughstock and NYC’s Park Bench who claim “It Aint Pretty is a celebration of the gritty reality that makes a musical poet write such songs in the first place. It is a collection of songs that would survive even the driest desert, and might even inspire new life to grow there.”