Luke Doucet Outlaws: Live and Unreleased

A true CanRock road warrior, Luke Doucet has been known for some time as an in-demand guitar slinger and leader of West coast mainstays Veal, but since his first solo outing, Aloha, Manitoba, Doucet has made a strong case for his songwriting prowess. Outlaws lays it all bare: an unvarnished collection of much of Doucet’s best material, recorded over two nights at Toronto’s Rivoli, accompanied by bassist Bazil Donovan and the extraordinary double drumming team of Glenn Milchem and Paul Brennan. Although Doucet’s dark narratives and jagged, heavily reverbed guitar instantly recalls his love of Tom Waits (in fact, he includes his popular cover of Waits’ "Gun St. Girl”), his smooth vocals are pure Canadiana, falling somewhere between his frequent collaborator Danny Michel and the Weakerthans’ John K. Samson. Two new studio tracks, the bluesy Jeff Buckley-esque "Annie Lu,” and the introspective "At the End of the Day,” are solo excursions that serve as little more than a bonus. That aside, Outlaws is an excellent introduction to one of Canada’s most unjustifiably unsung artists. He’s sure to be stopping in your town soon. (Six Shooter)