Nathan Hamilton

Six Black Birds (On the Corner Music)

Texas Platters

Nathan Hamilton

Six Black Birds (On the Corner Music)

Can it really be five years since Nathan Hamilton's last studio album? One thing for sure is that the local singer-songwriter represented on Six Black Birds isn't the same artist who won New Folk honors at Kerrville in 2000. Where Hamilton previously worked the twang/folk road, he's now toiling the same path to indie rock paved by Grand Champeen and the deep grooves and messages of James McMurtry. Blasting open with "Sooner or Later" and the cutting "Teeth," he then returns to his trademark laid-back melodies on "Green and Gold." "The Cut" is at the set's core, a Crazy Horse guitar workout that's long been Hamilton's forte. If there's anything missing here, it's a sense of who Hamilton is. He borrows well, but it never coalesces into anything overtly original. With a songwriter of such sturdy talents, that's not a problem, though after five years, expectations run higher.

***

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