Lucas Stagg Love, Or Lack Thereof

Kitchener-Waterloo singer-songwriter Lucas Stagg has been plying the one-man troubadour trade ever since his career as a hard-working bar band rocker came to an end in 2002. Since strapping the acoustic to his back, Stagg has developed into an engaging performer and admirably capable songsmith. Love, Or Lack Thereof, his third solo album, finds Stagg dusting off his old Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson LPs for inspiration while still remaining true to his indie rock roots. Leadoff track "Saturday” is an infectious acoustic blues romp which showcases both the singer’s old-time country twang and the songwriter’s phrase-turning adeptness. Stagg also gets by with a little help from his friends; the authentically high lonesome sounds of "The Maple Tree” are embellished by Jesse Altman and Craig McNair’s vocal harmonies, while the McCartney-esque "When Did You Leave Heaven?” is a sweet, though too brief, duet with K-W songstress Mary 5e. And, despite the odd musical curve, as on the Rivers Cuomo-gone-acoustic pop of the title track, Love, Or Lack Thereof announces Lucas Stagg as a roots rock hopeful to watch. (Burnt Oak)