Friday, February 25, 2011

Tim Easton Porcupine 2009

Tim Easton is one of the many indie singer-songwriter rockers around these days, and he's a pretty interesting talent. This one is his latest, and there's much to like about it.

Easton sings, writes, plays guitar and piano, and is joined by a talented band of Matt Surgeson on bass, Sam Brown on drums, and Kenny Vaughn on guitar. Brad Jones produced and added guitar and keyboards, and several other guests add vocals, violin, guitar, and lap steel.

The songs are particularly well arranged, and this is definitely a key ingredient to making this record as good as it is. I suppose that credit goes to Easton and Jones, and maybe the band some too.

Highlights include Burgundy Red, a big reverb-drenched bluesy rocker. Broke My Heart, a nice mid-tempo pop tune that sounds like a cross between Tom Petty and Nick Lowe, and Porcupine, a driving swamp rock thing lead by a fine acoustic guitar figure. The Dylan/Los Lobos hybrid Stormy rocks hard, as does the machine gun rock of Get What I Got. Northbound is a good Creedence-styled twangy blues. Of the ballads and slower songs, Long Cold Night In Bed is the best lyrically and musically.

There are a few lesser and cliched lyrical moments, and Easton's voice is not a big strong instrument, but I'm nit-picking now. Mostly this is another fine outing from a skilled tunesmith. And there's quite a bit of excellent guitar built into the especially well-crafted arrangements. Check it out.

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