Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch & Fats Kaplin Lost John Dean

Picking up where You Can’t Save Everybody left off, Lost John Dean is very much a band undertaking. The complimentary talents of New Yorkers Kane and multi-instrumentalist Kaplin meld with Oklahoma native Welch via Nashville and, based on its laidback recording style it veers south towards Mississippi. Whether you brand this low-key country folk or roots-y Americana doesn’t really matter. What’s important is how well these two master songwriters blend together as one, wrapped in the distinctive capabilities of Kaplin on guitar, fiddle, banjo, accordion, oud and pedal steel. The amalgamation appears ego-free and all about the music with players contributing equally. Kane’s darker shades are countered by Welch’s upbeat observations as Kaplin’s acoustic accompaniment keep things grounded in the heartland. One of the few covers, the standout "Postcard from Mexico” is a sheer delight, delivered from two perspectives. Kane’s "I Can’t Wait” is reminiscent of John Prine while "Mr. Bones” becomes an acoustic tour de force that demonstrates the more rhythmic side of three players. At the same time, the oddly infectious "Monkey Jump” or jubilant take on Willie Dixon’s "Mellow Down Easy” reveal a bag of tricks that shows no signs of depletion. (Compass)