Eric Westbury Burnt Tongues & Blue Truths

You’d probably think that someone who spends much of his time growing vegetables on Vancouver Island has got it made. But it’s the desire for nonconformity that led Eric Westbury to this pursuit that has also fuelled his 20-year career as a singer-songwriter. On this latest effort, Westbury hooked up with Austin, TX guitar legend Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, et al) and together they have produced this haunting, multilayered album. With Morlix handling the bulk of the atmospheres, the emphasis is on Westbury’s complex storytelling. Most of it seems to be preoccupied with soul searching, as in "Nickajack Cave” and "Tanks,” but there are also plenty of observations of life from an outsider’s perspective, which carry more immediacy. And with a husky voice reminiscent of Richard Buckner, it all adds up to a deep and well-produced effort from an artist primed to be discovered. (Barreltown)