Album: Tim Easton, Porcupine (New West)

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The Independent Culture

There's a rough-hewn, rootsy charm to Mojave Desert-based singer-songwriter Tim Easton's latest album, recorded in Nashville with a band that pairs his former Ohio punk buddies' rhythm section of drummer Sam Brown and bassist Matt Surgeson with multi-talented guitarist Kenny Vaughan, from Marty Stuart's band.

Vaughan's input proves decisive right from the off, with the red-raw rockabilly of "Burgundy Red" strung through with taut steel hawsers of lead guitar, while Easton does a decent approximation of Dylan's bluesy delivery; he also delivers some stinging licks on the blues-rocker "Get What I Got" and "Stormy", a good-time-girl depiction which bowls along with the brio of a B-52's retro-rock chugger. Elsewhere, the predatory skulk of slide guitar underscores "The Young Girls", and Jew's harp rides the rumbling drums of "Porcupine" itself. Things mellow out with the morning-after mood of "Stone's Throw Away" conjured up by harmonium, acoustic guitar and a few smears of strings behind Easton's warm rumination about whiskey-drinking girls who'll "make you think the good life has left you behind", while the magical, languid mood of "Long Cold Night In Bed" comes courtesy of double bass and acoustic guitar, with touches of resonating lap steel.

Download this Burgundy Red; Long Cold Night In Bed; Stormy; Stone's Throw Away