John P. Strohm, Vestavia

by Sarah Zupko

 

With just the right dose of irony, the exotic-sounding Vestavia is actually the name of the Birmingham, Alabama suburb where John P. Strohm now resides. It’s a fitting name given that Strohm clearly believes the most interesting stories often occur in quite mundane settings. Vestavia has certainly re-invigorated Strohm’s songwriting, giving him a fresh canvass upon which to paint deep and literate portraits of the darker side of Southern life. Witness, “The Ballad of Lobster Boy,” a true-life crime story of a sideshow freak. On this, his second solo disc, the Bloomington, Indiana native retains his middle America rock roots and the indie pop aesthetic honed in Boston during stints drumming for the Lemonheads and playing in the Blake Babies with Juliana Hatfield.

Vestavia

Rating:

 

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