Shawn Sage One of the Good Guys

If you’ve ever wanted to hear the personified embodiment of an open stage night, listen to nothing else before you slap this into your crusty player. Derived exactly from the vocal inflections of Steve Earle, the sensibilities of late-era Blue Rodeo and whatever magic that goatee shared by cops and hot country singers brings, this disc doesn’t so much bring anything to the world as remind you of the parts of it you’ve probably already gotten over at some point in your youth. Shawn Sage seems like a nice guy (as he tells us in the CD’s title), and he eagerly tries to emphasise how he’s working class and likes to drink and smoke pot, which probably explains how this frictionless, forgettable album got made. In short, while he’d be a good guy to have with a guitar at college parties, after a while you’d definitely be glad there’s a balcony, either for escaping to for a smoke or for leaping off after he pulls back his normal-guy rebellion with a little "please don’t drink and drive.” Jesus Christ, seriously? (Independent)