A Secret Rendezvous Between Folk, Classic Rock & Indie, or, «hit the road with a gun in the boot»

Blackberry Songs [.zip]

If today's Toilet Guppies mystery primer isn't your bag, then I must profess ignorance as to why you're even visiting this blog in the first place. In fact, it's hard to imagine anyone not liking this artist's music. But then I suppose that's what Usher thought about Justin Bieber, so that particular argument goes out the window…

Anyway, this singer-songwriter is not only a finger-picking sensation in the tradition of John Fahey; a lo-fi indie rock arranger making Sonic Youth et al. sound decidedly unadventurous; an occasional dabbler into atmospheric noise and electronica; and a pop sensibilist shamelessly inspired by the classic '70s FM radio rock of the Boss, Bob Seger(!), et al. He's also one of the most wry lyricists you're likely to hear anytime soon, making you chuckle at workaday griefs, relationship challenges and good ol', all round people hatin'.

This guy knows how to appreciate the unintentional poetry in overheard snippets of chatter, as well as in throwaway comments of near and dear ones who inevitably go through moments where they despise you, every now and again. A fine guitarist but a middling vocalist, he turns this drawback into an advantage by acting more than singing, drawling—deadpan and Dylan-like—everyday phrases pregnant with passive aggression. There's a slight air of melancholy, but don't worry: it's not the insufferably maudlin and exaggerated kind peddled by, say, Nick Drake. Call this non-pathological blues. Never before has a songwriter been so self-pitying and managed to stay this unpretentious. And rarely has a lyricist so bitterly comedic managed to avoid clever irony, salvaging his sincerity all the way…

The best music is usually a tightrope walk: Inconspicuously balanced, seemingly unremarkable and deceptively boring, staying well clear of the bombast and cheap tactics of the extremes, it just keeps on giving, new shades revealing themselves upon every listen. As an old chum said, this music will make you want to «hit the road with a gun in the boot». Give it a twirl, bub, then go buy his albums.

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