[31 August 2010]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
There’s something to be said for doing one thing and doing it well. The Morning Pages play lived-in, earnest roadhouse rock, period. You can call it Americana, alt-country, or whatever, but at heart this is music that at once puts you in a timeless saloon. “Live With You” kicks up some dirt worthy of vintage REM or Matthew Sweet, but mostly Rising Rain is content just to be what it is. Singer/songwriter Grant Maxwell has a pleasant, rustic voice and a way with a tune that belie his youth. The playing and production are first-rate, too. And if nothing really jumps out and grabs you, nothing here puts you off, either. You’ll hear traces of original country rockers E*I*E*I*O as well as the BoDeans and even Australia’s Black Sorrows. And, of course, Dylan is just around the corner.