Paul Minor

The Marfa Project (Minor Productions)

Texas Platters

Paul Minor

The Marfa Project (Minor Productions)

For his second solo album, local everyman Paul Minor headed to Marfa with a satchel full of melancholy turns of phrase and a brood of musical all-stars, including Marfa City Council member and El Orbits frontman David Beebe on drums. Minor tries on an array of voices over 12 songs, giving Marfa a ramshackle, farm-to-market vibe. "Devil May Care" is a raggedy, roll-out-of-bed opener that dumps Elvis Costello by the side of Highway 290 with a wicked hangover. Minor stabs farther west on "Here I Am," a meditation on high lonesomeness featuring an Augie Meyers-style organ solo that crackles to life like a distant San Antonio radio signal. Similarly, pop chestnut "Sweet and Sour Girl" gets a boost from Michael Crow's strategic Moog workout at the bridge. By contrast, quieter moments such as "Windmills" and "Live and Breathe" come through with unabashed, lump-in-throat tenderness. Like a two-fingered wave on an empty highway, these dispatches seethe with consoling charm.

***

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