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

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: The Mountain Goats, Heretic Pride (4AD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: The Mountain Goats, Heretic Pride (4AD)

Co-produced by John Vanderslice, the typically opaque lyrics by John Darnielle are given space and clarity so as to bewilder and bemuse you by turns. Not many people write songs with titles like... > Read more

The Eels: Meet the Eels and Useless Trinkets (Geffen/Universal)

The Eels: Meet the Eels and Useless Trinkets (Geffen/Universal)

Wherein cult band the Eels get the kind of re-issue/repackage usually reserved for Major Big Name Acts: Meet the Eels is a 24 track compilation of 10 years from 1996 with a 12 clip DVD collection... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

South west China: Give me land, lots of land

South west China: Give me land, lots of land

In Guizhou province they move mountains. Literally. Here in this vast region of south west China – two thirds the area of New Zealand and with a population around 40 million –... > Read more

C.W. Stoneking: King Hokum (Inertia)

C.W. Stoneking: King Hokum (Inertia)

Okay, this one had me stumped -- and increasingly impressed. The guy on the black'n'white cover sitting outside a clapboard shack is a round-faced thirty something white guy, but the guy singing... > Read more