It’s supposed to be -5 degrees Fahrenheit in Detroit tonight, which means it must be about -500 Celsius in Saskatoon, home of The Deep Dark Woods. (Actually, I picture Saskatchewan as being one big wheat field, with about ten trees scattered here and there, but what do I know, I’ve never been there.) Such cold is clearly irrelevant to this quartet, who offer up easy-going country rock more suited to the bronze glow of fall than the brutalities of winter. In fact, I’d go so far as saying these are warm songs, with steel guitar or, as in “All the Money I Had is Gone,” a fantastic old organ sound wrapping around you like an old blanket. Vocal harmonies smooth country grooves, lyrics of wistful longing — all perfect for curling up and staying under the covers, and due on Feb. 17.
The backstory to this post is that there’s an Eagles album in my old Sony 5 disc changer, and while I’ve been loving it I’ve also wanted to hit up some country rock that’s a little more recent. Jesse over at Killbeat Music in Vancouver, BC, didn’t know this, but he sent Cameron Latimer’s upcoming album Fallen Apart anyway. Perfect. Latimer is a Canadian music veteran, with background in a mess of genres. That said, he sticks to the roots on his solo debut, and offers up a strong set of steel guitar-soaked bar tunes, full of heartbreak and prairie light. While the available download, “Empty Saddle,” is heavy on the C&W, there’s a lot of shuffle and slide on the other tracks on Fallen Apart, making Cameron Latimer’s work a nice indie accompaniment to Henley, Frey and the other guys.
Fast talking, fast picking (on the banjo) Old Man Luedecke’s just telling stories on these snappy new tracks from his third and latest album, Proof of Love. Although Old Man doesn’t really look that old, his narrative style and attention to detail and tradition certainly reflect a degree of maturity and experience. In general, though, it’s the toe-tapping familiarity of these songs that make then all warm and shiny. I can see Luedecke twanging his banjo around a Canadian campfire, telling tales just like people do.