Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Sept. 16, 2005
It's a coincidence that Wayne Sutton's sophomore solo effort Walking Disaster invokes New Orleans as it does on "St. Louis' Balcony" and contains an unintentional hurricane reference in "Nothin' Short of Disaster," yet there they are, timely as they are eerie. His shining achievement for Walking Disaster is not simply in creating an estimable album, but one worthy of his potential from the former Sister 7 guitarist. Firmly in his grasp is the ability to take the heavy, funk-inflected rock guitar style honed by his years working with Patrice Pike and reverse it toward the acoustic songwriter direction started on with Heart of the Donkey, his bleating, flop-eared debut. Sutton and co-producer Matt Hubbard give the 10 rootsy-rocking originals a raw, unpolished edge that mixes clever wordplay ("Broken Promise Land") with a rub of Texas Gothic ("Black-Eyed Sweetheart"). Hubbard joins Soulhat's Bill Cassis in backing up Sutton, as does Carolyn Wonderland, whose powerful soul-choir vocals define the memorable "Garbage Can." Sutton's skills as a songwriter have room to grow, and the limited range of his vocals lends sameness to the overall sound, but that's just the devil in the details. Walking Disaster is Wayne Sutton's game entry into the ranks of Texas songwriters.