Memo to Ringo, Ginger Baker and all the other big-name
drummers who consider themselves worthy of solo stardom. So far, your track record isn’t all that impressive.
Never mind the fact that its difficult enough to single out one drummer who
ever put out an album worth remembering – at least as far as Rock realms are
concerned. Suffice it say Ringo’s latest is merely one more reason why you guys
ought to stay behind the skins.
Fortunately, there’s hope.
Take a listen to the solo debut by Jason Boesel, timekeeper behind such
bands as Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, the Elected, Connor Oberst and his Mystic
Valley Band. A novice as far as his
other instrumental abilities and songwriter skills are concerned, he
nevertheless went the individual route plied with both inspiration and a switch
in styles that relinquished a modern rock sensibility in favor of traditional Americana. It’s a
mournful sound to be sure, but with Boesel’s high lonesome vocals and weary
worldview evoking the likes of Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, the ready
references have him sounding like a natural.
Songs such as “Hand Of God,” “Burned Out and Busted,” “Was It, Man?” and
“Winking Eyes” maintain that forlorn attitude with more than a hint of
desperation and desire, suggesting a soul repeatedly stung by
And while Boesel’s gathered an all-star crew to back him –
Benmont Tench, David Rawlings and Rilo Kiley co-conspirator Blake Sennett,
among them — he still manages to maintain a tattered edge, with a dusty strum
and a wayward ramble steering things along. No matter he’s revisiting well-trod
terrain; one or two more outings like this and this Hustler’s Son may be legitimately ready to make it on his own.
Tracks: “Burned Out and Busted,” “Hustler’s Son,” “”Hand of God”