Volume 96, Issue 85
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

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CD REVIEW: Tim Easton

Heartbreaker's Blues

Tim Easton
Break Your Mother's Heart
New West Records



Rundown: Easton's music is grounded in a fine tradition of American (and Canadian) troubadour songwriters who know how to blend blues and rock influences into their own compositions. Break Your Mother's Heart is Easton's third and best record so far.

Key Tracks: All 10 songs will capture the listeners' ears – if not the first time, then definitely the second. Easton opens with "Poor, Poor L.A.," which was loosely inspired by Elridge Cleaver's autobiography Soul on Ice, and acts as a rollicking pacesetter for an impressive 10-song set. The record features two covers, which were both penned by virtually unknown songwriter J.P. Olsen, who – judging by the quality of "John Gilmartin" and the closing track "True Ways" – deserves recognition.

Sounds Like: Tim Easton's voice is slightly weathered: soft, but not quiet, and filled with emotion without being overwrought. Backed by his own able guitar-playing and a studio band, which includes veteran drummer Jim Keltner and an appearance by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' guitarist Mike Campbell, Easton has captured his songs in an ideal setting. The production mixes acoustic and electric guitar, organ, bass and drums, with occasional splashes of mandolin and piano, giving the record a fresh and live sound.

–Zach Peterson

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2002 THE GAZETTE