Album: Hayward Williams, Cotton Bell (Continental Song City)

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The Independent Culture

Another day, a fresh sepia vision of the American heart.

Williams recorded this gravely poetical album in Milwaukee in the midst of the coldest winter in memory. Sounds like it. There's something in the music that longs for warmth. Guitars strum and jangle, violins scrape, percussion clinks and tinkles, and the voice settles into its chordal pillows like a cat.

It's a husky, slightly self-conscious voice, longing for your approval. Grainy American Romanticism as frank as this is not without precedents. But so what. Nice record.