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Album Review

As the title suggests, All Sorts is a grab bag of covers, demos, and outtakes from former Windbreakers guitarist Bobby Sutliff that plays like a companion piece to his earlier solo set of home recordings and session leftovers, Bitter Fruit. While Bitter Fruit was a fine showcase for Sutliff the songwriter, seven of the 12 tunes on All Sorts came from the pens of others (and two others appeared in different form on Bitter Fruit), so this set gets by on the strength of Sutliff's considerable strengths as a guitarist and a studio hand. Sutliff has long been one of the more gifted guitarists in the jangle pop underground, and his re-imagining of the Byrds' arrangement of "Wild Mountain Thyme" is nearly as heart-tugging in its beauty as the original, while his covers of Nick Drake's "Northern Sky" and the Tradewinds' "New York's a Lonely Town" are at once reverent and allow Sutliff's own musical personality to shine through. While All Sorts is a bit short of top-shelf originals from Sutliff, there are a couple of fine guitar pieces on board, "Kg14" and "Kirwan Green," and though the production is a bit rudimentary in spots, the album has a warm, open quality that's genuine and inviting. All Sorts is the sort of album that's best enjoyed by folks who are already loyal Bobby Sutliff fans (and since it was initially released in a limited edition of 250, it was apparently not intended to be a breakthrough release for him), but anyone with a soft spot for smart, well-crafted pop will doubtless enjoy it.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One half of the famed Mississippi power-pop duo the Windbreakers, singer/guitarist Bobby Sutliff began a solo career in 1986 with the release of the EP Another Jangly Mess; the full-length Only Ghosts Remain followed a year later. After rejoining longtime collaborator Tim Lee for a pair of new Windbreakers LPs, 1989's At Home with Bobby & Tim and 1991's Electric Landlady, Sutliff spent the 1990s largely outside of music, finally resurfacing...
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