Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., June 24, 2005
Texas in the Twilight (Loud House)
Though Paul Metsa's name is little-known 'round these parts, Austin's Loud House Records does its best to change that with Texas in the Twilight. Metsa began performing 25 years ago, the Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter having made waves in the mid-Eighties with Paper Tigers, and that quarter-century milestone is acknowledged with this archival recording. Twilight was recorded in Austin in 1990, 15 songs of political conviction and the vagaries of love. Metsa is the street-corner poet with a guitar as his lover, taking on the world in "Slow Justice" and offering the cautionary tale of teen hijinks gone wrong on "Party to a Crime." "Nobody told me life would be this tough," he sings with anguish on "Another Man's Chains," neatly framing his sandpapered voice. Twilight isn't a polished recording, though. With just his guitar (and some overdubbed percussion), it was recorded live in the studio, and the occasional glitch remains. Still, with songs such as "As Good as It Gets" and "59 Coal Mines," Texas in the Twilight is as good an entry level into Metsa's music. That Loud House Records added Paul Metsa to their stable is another point in his favor. Slowly and surely, the Austin-based label is shaping up prestigiously.