Americana down under

Steve Smith may be from Sydney, but like so many songwriters who hail from out of town, he's proving himself an expert in americana.

Fallon Cush
Bee in Your Bonnet
(Lightly Toasted)
Lying in the weeds with the Jayhawks, Petty, Knopfler and Dylan, these songs roll out with wry observations (lyrical and musical) backed up by a tight rhythm section. Smith and his compadres are older than me (which is saying something), but that experience has sharpened their skills. Rock and roll may be on the way to terminal heart disease, but americana thrives on age.

And the aging. While the genre is probably more of a catchall than something tangible, there isn't a better sound for reflection. One of the things you will learn as you get older is that rushing through life is overrated. Life happens when you take a breath. Or three.

These energetic pieces ramble pleasantly. There's some gentle wisdom and more than a few tasty licks. Some hooks bite sharper than others. This isn't exactly sunset music, but it works well as a preparation for that time of day. It'll get you through the last tasks before the time comes to lay down your burden for the day.

Brilliant? Probably not. But Fallon Cush, which is a band and not simply a pseudonym, has a firm grasp on its sound and what it collectively wants to do. There's no hesitation here; just well-hewn songs. Workingman's americana is not a bad place to rest at all.

Jon Worley

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