New addition to rootsy solo singer-songwriters out of Seattle isn't a standout, but he's welcome company nonetheless.
Garth Reeves has gathered up and called upon a horde of Seattle musicians to lend a hand on his latest album, including Pete Droge. Its rootsy, mid-tempo opener "Out of Tune" brings to mind a blending of Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, and Randy Newman. Reeves has an earthy earnestness in his voice that brings rather simple tunes like "All Around You" to life quickly, while fans of Tim Easton would cherish the slow, folksy, and tender cover of John Martyn's "Angeline". Reeves branches out briefly with a different, layered backbeat for "This River" while giving the Americana song some orchestral, string-tinged touches. The result is an interesting but busy song that is good but not great. It's the album's aberration, as tracks such as the infectious, roots pop nugget "Golden Bottom", which is golden indeed, make up the bulk of the material. He seems to take a rest with the Mavericks-like "Lucky One", which saunters along without a care in the world. "Caroline" makes up for this slight miscue with more singer-songwriter pizzazz than you could hope for, all with a Gram Parsons/Rolling Stones country swagger to it.