Clay Tyson Kick It Down

Like Jakob Dylan, Clay Tyson has every right to his family's musical heritage, but proving that right is another matter. The son of Ian and Sylvia, Canada's biggest contribution to the early '60s folk revival, as well as the late '60s country-rock first wave, it's not surprising that Tyson has taken this long to make his own album. It's even more surprising to remember he was once a member of Toronto's ultra-eclectic Look People. Yet with Kick It Down he makes a pretty strong claim to his roots with a voice that resembles his father's deep tones and a laid back, honest approach that I'm sure has made both parents proud. He also made the right move in recording with the Breit brothers (where have they been?), who contribute tasteful backing on guitars and keyboards. The problem is that this formula, held together by Great Big Sea producer Danny Greenspoon, works too well. There are no rough edges left on the songs, leading me to think Tyson ultimately won't win the alt-country crowd he's obviously after, but will probably find himself playing in front of audiences who think it's nice that Ian and Sylvia's boy writes songs too. (Borealis)