River City Extension/Kevin Devine
River City Extension and Kevin Devine paired up for this split 7-inch to commemorate their tour down to South By Southwest this past March. The former take the front side with “Ballad Of Oregon” and “Point Of Surrender,” two tracks of bustling folk/country-rock akin to a toned-down version of the Builders And The Butchers or William Elliott Whitmore. “Ballad Of Oregon” is surprisingly sprightly and nimble for being five minutes, while the banjo-heavy “Point Of Surrender” has a froggier vocal delivery and a more concise approach.
RCE's pair is a decent enough introduction, but Kevin Devine finishes the split strongly. “Between The Concrete & Clouds” just so happens to be the name of Devine's forthcoming full-length, and it's signature solo KD. The raspy-voiced singer/songwriter spills personal declarations over restrained strumming, as careful metaphor and wistful melodies spruce up the delivery. “Walls” traverses the same path, but here's the catch: It's a Tom Petty cover. It's beautifully done for being (relatively) stripped down, with lush vocal and guitar tracks delivering Petty's Americana hooks.
Anchor & Hope http://www.anchorandhopemusic.com