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Tim Easton

The Truth About Us – 2001 (New West)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Tim Easton

If they had a softball team of all-stars, there's a good chance they'd find a spot for rookie sensation Tim Easton. True, this is his second solo album, and he's also done work with the Haynes Boys and Burnbarrel, but Easton hasn't quite reached the alt.-country Mark McGwire-status of Steve Earle or Wilco, three of whose members join him on this label debut. He also gets help from Mark Olson and Victoria Williams and American Music Club's Bruce Kaphane. Joe Chiccarelli, who has worked with Beck and U2 among others, handles producing and engineering chores.

Easton and gang go for a dreamy folk tone that is both interesting and engaging, as is Easton's songwriting. The Los Angeles-transplant specializes in low-down tales like the ones in "Out of Your Life," "Then the Lights Went Out" and "I Would Have Married You" that capture images of drifters and bad men and lost souls and the end of love. Everything from violins, Mellotron samples and loops to pedal steel, mandolin and harmonica is used to create a sound that is neither boring nor distracting.

A solid effort that should ensure Easton gets plenty of playing time.