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The Morning Pages

Rising Rain

(Zealous; US: 11 May 2010; UK: Import; Online Release Date: 22 Dec 2009)

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.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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