Chalk it up to the warm weather and cheap drugs or blame it on Buffalo Springfield, but L.A. grinds out its share of guitar-toting folkies. Recalling L.A.’s early folk days, former Colour guitarist and songwriter Luke MacMaster’s Romany Rye has picked up what his Laurel canyon counterparts left behind and wandered down a dusty new path. This album is an eight-chapter narrative of despair, love and everything in between, and it’s as compelling as old time religion. From the very first track, “Brother”,- a cautionary tale of deceit-I almost guarantee you’ll find yourself humming along as an organ slowly bleeds into MacMaster’s vocals. “Dear Holly” effuses even more Southern charm, treating us to country twang and perhaps even a washboard. MacMaster’s deep-hearted poetry can mesmerize you after a few lines, as with the closing track, “Untitled (Love Song),” The song plays like a high-school ballad, reminding everyone about that one (or in some cases, two) who got away. I picture Highway 1, Looking Back Carefully rattling some dilapidated jukebox while some poor souls peer into their drinks and ponder what their lives have become. Hell, I think I need a drink now.
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