ASH­LEY RAINES & THE NEW WEST REVUE

It Could Be Worse 5/10

UNCUT - - New Albums We’re New Here - Mid­dling Mid­west ma­noeu­vres GRAEME THOM­SON

Tap­ping into the dark root of Amer­i­can ru­ral mu­sic, Kansas-born singer, song­writer and multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist Raines spe­cialises in songs of fate­ful ret­ri­bu­tion, manly suf­fer­ing and fleet­ing re­demp­tion. his rich bari­tone fits the bluesy con­fes­sional bill, but th­ese solid, som­bre songs lean too read­ily to­wards the pre­dictable. Amid clichéd fare like “Peace In The Val­ley” and “Old Time Re­li­gion”, the choppy, three-legged rhythm of “Des­per­ate Man” stands out. The set is ca­pa­ble enough, but yields little light.

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