Hangtown Here For Now

Somewhere between the heart and soul of (Crazy Horse-era) Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd comes this thoughtful independent release from Tampa, Florida. This is no wall of squall, but rather a collection of mid-tempo, simple ballads that lean on B-3 organ, pedal steel and some exceptional guitar to create a powerfully tasty country-pop. Elements of gentle Southern soul lie beneath their sound, yet their love of classic guitar rock permeates each of the ten tracks. Ted Lukas' barely there, somewhat pinched vocals sandwich perfectly within each well-crafted song and, with repeated listening, grow quite addictive. Finn Walling's guitar lines are what separate this disc from the dozens of Wilco retreads, and the dual guitar attack provided by he and Lukas add inspired muscle to each somewhat relaxed composition. The addition of banjo, mandolin and lap steel make for inventive arrangements while keeping them loyal to their Buffalo Springfield-sounding roots. The guitars, often glued together by Dean Germain's swirling B-3, elevate each song. To some extent, this has all been heard before, but not lately and certainly not done this well. (Blue Heart)