The follow-up to his 2016 debut album Down in a Hole, the actor, best known for his role as Jack Bauer on 24, proves he’s as natural a musician as he is an Emmy Award winning actor, seamlessly blending both skills on the new project. Writing all 10 of the album’s songs solo, Sutherland calls on vivid imagery and his influences of outlaw country, blues, rock and Americana to create a dynamic project.
Throughout the album, you get the sense that Sutherland is a wanderer at heart, inviting the listener to travel with him to the vast places he’s ventured. He demonstrates this on the introductory track “Open Road,” a four-minute narrative that captures the beauty and loneliness of life on the road and a man who’s home is the highway, taking the listener along for the ride as he tells of Georgia trees, midnight moons “like a lighthouse in the sky” and searching for peace of mind. He follows this by shining a spotlight on the draining nature of corporate America on “Something You Love,” portraying how people neglect their dreams and fall into the societal system of working a passionless job for a paycheck. “He said I’m wasting my life just paying my bills, doing my time but gettin’ no chills, the livng ain’t living without the thrill of doing something you love,” Sutherland sings over an upbeat, rock-leaning melody that lets his rugged voice shine.
Before demonstrating his talent for blues and country with the lively “Agave” and “Run to Him” Sutherland takes us inside a lively honky-tonk on “This is How It’s Done,” putting us in the action as he tears up the dance floor with a local cowgirl and witnesses a fight three minutes into his arrival, the latter of which is inspired by his first experience in a bar.
Sutherland puts his gift for songwriting on full display with the album’s closing tracks. The poetic “Saskatchewan” honors the hometown of his mother Shirley Douglas, as Sutherland captures the distinct elements of the Canadian town she shared with him through stories, painting a distinct image as he sings of fields of gold, the prairie sky and red earth beneath his feet. He ends the album on a touching note with the sweet “Song for a Daughter,” an ode to his daughter Sarah, recalling special memories of their life together from the day she was born to father-daughter tea parties to envisioning her wedding day, sharing such encouraging words as “my baby, my darling little girl, won’t you take a lesson from this world, life’s peaches and cream, ain’t always what it seems, but don’t let that darken your dreams.”
With Reckless & Me, Sutherland further establishes himself as a promising musician with a passion for his subject matters. Whether capturing the beauty of his home country or sharing an open and honest letter for his daughter, Sutherland proves he’s a true artist with the ability to tell his story across multiple art forms in a compelling way.