Greg Klyma New Clothes

Klyma always had the ability to write cogent, affecting songs, but sometimes couldn't resist the urge to get a tad goofy and sophomoric with the occasional track. He keeps that urge in check with New Clothes, his first true solo release after the 1997 break-up of his backing band, Stone Church. Originally recorded in 1998 and just now getting released, it's a small and intimate affair, just Klyma and his guitar with the occasional overdubbed mandolin and some bass or pedal steel from a friend. The LP is dedicated to his grandfather and one of the highlights is "Always," a song written for and played at his funeral. He works the same territory as Dylan and Earle, and is also sometimes reminiscent of Jimmy LaFave and Townes Van Zandt. In fact, he offers up a fine cover of Van Zandt disciple Earle's "Someday." It's mournful and masterful in its own right, but if it had been included only to prove that Klyma's own songs are equals, it would be justified. New Clothes is Klyma's best LP yet, and extremely encouraging for his future projects. (Homemade Pie)