Dylan LeBlanc: Paupers Field (Rough Trade)

 |   |  1 min read

Dylan LeBlanc: Changing of the Seasons
Dylan LeBlanc: Paupers Field (Rough Trade)

From the understated openers with their gentle backbeat, soft organ and steel guitar, LeBlanc -- barely 21, out of Louisiana -- announces himself as part of a long lineage which stretches back to the country-soul out of Muscle Shoals studio (where his dad  was a session musician) and the country-rock of the early Band, but which also reaches to more contemporary names such as Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) and Will “Bonnie Prince Billy” Oldham’s more recent albums.

There’s a world-weariness in some of these songs (If the Creek Don’t Rise with Emmylou Harris) and his backstory of booze, coke, pills and rehab means he grew up fast and hard, and has much to be weary about.

That is captured in the slow, croaked Ain’t Too Good at Losing (“I think too much in the morning . . . I can’t run . . . I give up”) and the finger-picking/banjo-backed Changing of the Seasons (“You can say I’ve been around the block”). But musically these songs mostly occupy a languid dreamworld where alt.folk and country-soul sit on a bed of humid pedal steel and conjure up warm bayou nights over a bottle of local liquor.

If this debut lacks a killer punch it is all of a piece, and he populates his songs with sketched-in characters as much as himself.

A slow grower.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Matthew Barber and Jill Barber: The Family Album (Outside/Southbound)

Matthew Barber and Jill Barber: The Family Album (Outside/Southbound)

On the same Canadian label which recently signed Tami Neilson (a no-brainer I would have thought) comes this quietly delightful sibling-pairing on songs – a balance of originals and... > Read more

Black Keys: “Let's Rock” (Easy Eye)

Black Keys: “Let's Rock” (Easy Eye)

The first time I saw the Black Keys was at a Kings Arms gig when they were just starting out and were being acclaimed by the bFM crowd as some kind of alt.blues band. They were pretty dire and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CARLA BLEY, PAUL HAINES. ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL, CONSIDERED (1972): Are you along for the ride?

CARLA BLEY, PAUL HAINES. ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL, CONSIDERED (1972): Are you along for the ride?

In the almost five decades since I bought this triple album by jazz composer/ keyboard player Carla Bley, lyric writer/conceptualist Paul Haines and Bley's Jazz Composer's Orchestra, I must have... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . JANDEK: Stranger in an even stranger land

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . JANDEK: Stranger in an even stranger land

In his very interesting 2001 book about cult figures and outsider musicians Songs in the Key of Z, Irwin Chusid had chapters on some figures (Wild Man Fischer, Syd Barrett, Florence Foster Jenkins,... > Read more