ASHLEY RAINES & THE NEW WEST REVUE
It Could Be Worse 5/10
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.