The twangy, banjo-fied, mandolin-laced sound of Albuquerque-based Americana adherents The Porter Draw is in full effect on their forthcoming (April 4), self-titled release. While the genre itself can be self-limiting (The Grateful Dead), wildly expansive (CSN&Y) and even provocatively experimental (Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection), The Porter Draw demonstrates their command of the medium while proving there's still some life in the old horse after all. Track four of this recording, titled “Out on the Highway,” plays out as a classic tale of travel and redemption, while the group’s cover of Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” has a thin, reedy musicality and plaintive tone that tops The Boss’ muscular desperation. Closing out this record with honky-tonk anthem “Home Fries” was a fine choice; it gives the listener a clear idea of the craft it takes to fashion credible music around well-worn tradition. (August March)
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