13 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Libertyville, Illinois singer-songwriter doesn’t mince words and he never lays back. He insists on music every bit as biting, sarcastic and street smart as his worldview, and he believes in immersing himself in the center of the storm and fighting his way to safety. (“Farewell to the Good Times Part 2” is the only calm in this hurricane.) This 2008 collection includes five demos, alternate versions of previous album tracks (“It’s Alright to Die,” originally featured on 2004’s Sparkle in the Finish being a highlight) and a couple of previously unreleased studio cuts that fit comfortably next to his best work — 2001’s Salesmen and Racists and 2007’s We Belong to the Staggering Evening. The title track swaggers with that Stones-to-Replacements classic rock mission, where a raspy, street poet puts forth his jaw and dares you to take a punch. “Janie Doesn’t Lie,” ‘Dragonflies,” “New Assassination Blues” are full-fledged rockers that could’ve been birthed in the Graham Parker-Elvis Costello- Jim Carroll literate rocker boom of the late ‘70s. “Duty Free” adds a few country stylings and still can’t soften this hardboiled egg.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Libertyville, Illinois singer-songwriter doesn’t mince words and he never lays back. He insists on music every bit as biting, sarcastic and street smart as his worldview, and he believes in immersing himself in the center of the storm and fighting his way to safety. (“Farewell to the Good Times Part 2” is the only calm in this hurricane.) This 2008 collection includes five demos, alternate versions of previous album tracks (“It’s Alright to Die,” originally featured on 2004’s Sparkle in the Finish being a highlight) and a couple of previously unreleased studio cuts that fit comfortably next to his best work — 2001’s Salesmen and Racists and 2007’s We Belong to the Staggering Evening. The title track swaggers with that Stones-to-Replacements classic rock mission, where a raspy, street poet puts forth his jaw and dares you to take a punch. “Janie Doesn’t Lie,” ‘Dragonflies,” “New Assassination Blues” are full-fledged rockers that could’ve been birthed in the Graham Parker-Elvis Costello- Jim Carroll literate rocker boom of the late ‘70s. “Duty Free” adds a few country stylings and still can’t soften this hardboiled egg.

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