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Jim Roll

Lunette – 2000 (New West)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Jim Roll

On Jim Roll's second album, this remarkable midwesterner fulfills the promise of his debut and then some. Knead together the archetypal influences like Dylan and Springsteen into more obscure biases toward spicier roots rockers like The Silos (whose leader, Walter Salas-Humara, produced and played this), Fred Eaglesmith and The Vulgar Boatmen, and you'd have Jim Roll.

The power of Roll's songwriting is in the moments that flash by in songs like, "Bleed (If You're Bleeding)," a tune that cuts to the quick of life. Over a slowly building accompaniment, he sings a tale of getting on with it, already: "Bleed if you're bleeding, and tree if you're treeing, leave if leaving's all you do."

Guest musicians like guitarists Gurf Morlix and John Dee Graham, drummers Konrad Meissner and Salas-Humara, and Silos violinist Mary Rowell all add to the full sound. From the graceful chamber pop of "These Winds," to the full-tilt, Velvets-gone-country sound of the title cut, Roll is proving capable of a wide menu of sonic tastes and textures.