Lyrically rich vignettes backed by a stellar cast of ace musicians.
Texas singer-songwriter Donal Hinely has brought out the big guns for his latest release, The Famous Rocket Cage. The album serves as a veritable “who’s who” of the Americana scene, featuring contributions from ace session players Viktor Krauss, Tommy Perkinson, David Mead, and Will Kimbrough, plus a production credit from David Henry. Hinely’s pleasant and reedy voice, augmented by gently shuffling melodic beats, allows the album to sweep along at a brisk pace. He sings of big dreams lost in the shuffle of life, saints and sinners battling for supremacy, and pined-for girls who are just out or reach. In a genre often populated with clichés and repeated sentiments, Hinely’s songcraft stands out as a bit more nuanced and vivid than some of his contemporaries. He takes time with his words and the arrangements that back them are well calculated to suit the various moods and feelings he inhabits. The Famous Rocket Cage is nearly 50 minutes of adept tunefulness well worth the time and investment.