Leeroy Stagger and His Band Radiant Land

Leeroy Stagger and His Band Radiant Land
Early on, it looked like hardworking Canadian troubadour Stagger was destined to remain an unfairly overlooked underdog, so it's been pleasing to note he's finally getting recognized, both in North America and the UK. He's a prolific cat, this being his seventh studio album. It was recorded in just a couple of days in Nashville last summer and the band were clearly firing on all cylinders mid-tour. Stagger pays tribute to life on the road with virile opening cut "Dirty Windshields," then gets gentler on "Enough Love To Go Around." He mixes things up nicely, from sweeter tunes like "Maria," "Message of Love" and the epic "Light That Guides You Home" to the righteous anger displayed on "Radiant Land" (which is about the Albertan energy policy) and the self-explanatory, rousing "Capitalism Must Die." There has always been a swagger about Stagger, a slightly cocky self-confidence that's actually quite endearing. His sound and vocals have a somewhat loose and ragged feel that brings Paul Westerberg to mind, and there's an open and honest feel to his unaffected voice. This is arguably his best work yet. (Goldlake)