Graham Brown Good 'N Broke

A West Coast institution, this is Brown's second solo outing after a string of releases with Jr. Gone Wild, Brilliant Orange and Happyman. The immediate attraction is Brown's stinging guitar playing; "Already Done" sets the tone with an orchestra of chiming Telecasters, and was the cause of a rare occasion where I had to listen to the song again immediately after it finished. The album continues with typical Wild West recklessness ("Masterpiece," "Sinner To Some"), with an odd two-stepper ("Got To Go") and dusty tearjerker ("You Get Faith In Me") thrown in. I suppose it's the usual logistics of living in Vancouver that has prevented Brown from being more widely known, but Good 'N Broke already ranks as one of the best roots rock albums to come from any part of Canada this year. Brown simply has a knack at writing solid tunes, and he plays like a demon. What more can you ask for? Nothing less than a Jr. Gone Wild reunion could beat it. (Independent)