Tim Easton

Special 20

BY John F. ButlandPublished Sep 1, 1999

Easton’s usual job is as front man for the Haynes Boys. His solo debut, recorded because the band is “lazy,” is a rich and varied collection of songs that holds together way better than it has any right to. It’s all over the musical map, but is anything but scattershot. He gets help from folks associated one way or another with Big Back Forty, NRBQ, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Matthew Sweet, and Ron Sexsmith. There’s a Dylan-ish Highway 61 feel to the opening “Just Like Home,” recorded at home on a four track, while the title track is a mutant back porch blues. “Torture Comes To Mind” is better Westerberg than Paul writes these days and “Space Girl” is infectious, jangly roots pop. Loss and revenge permeate the dark “Everywhere Is Somewhere.” “Rewind” eavesdrops on a dysfunctional bar patron, who’s a bit of a pathetic loser, but the taut backing and emotions build it into something grander and more universal. The intimate and acoustic “Sweet Violet” could have come from Paul Kelly’s pen, and the “Hey Rosine” snaps like the best Silos’ tracks. Unpretentious and enjoyable from start to finish.

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