Troy Campbell

Long in the Sun (M-Ray)

SXSW Records

Troy Campbell

Long in the Sun (M-Ray)

Since the break up of Loose Diamonds in the late-Nineties, Troy Campbell's been the type of songwriter that will only release his songs when they're ready. Long in the Sun is the Austinite's third solo album, and it's filled with tunes that have obviously been carefully distilled. It also reveals a new side to the local journeyman. Campbell flexes some creative muscle with a version of Woody Guthrie's "Along in the Sun & the Rain" that raises a shimmering haze, while the straight-ahead "Town to Town" is his hardest rocker since the Diamonds days. When he allows his sweet, clear voice a rough edge on the dusky "Killing Time in Texas" and twisted blues of "Ball and Chain," the effect is startling. Both are heavily augmented by producer Gurf Morlix, who uses some of the exact same grit he applies to his work with Ray Wylie Hubbard. Campbell's sunny side shines through on songs like country-rockin' set opener "Famous" and the infectious "Birdsong." Although his career has had its share of detours over the years, Long in the Sun proves Campbell remains among the elite of Austin songwriters. (Thursday, March 16, 9pm @ Creekside EMC at Capitol Place)

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