The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2015 Records

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015, Music

John Moreland

High on Tulsa Heat (Old Omens)

Between John Fullbright, Parker Millsap, and John Moreland, Oklahoma figures prominently in any discussion of which state is seeding today's best singer-songwriters. At 29, Moreland's older than the other two, but he's also arguably the most talented. High on Tulsa Heat, his third CD, finds the bearded wonder producing and playing most of the instruments. It's a well-grooved vision filled with stunning images and sobering emotions. Moreland works tilled ground, but these days few bring to mind Van Zandt and Springsteen and withstand the comparison. All 10 tunes grab you in some way, Moreland shining on the title track's jangly Americana, sparkle and dread of "Cleveland County Blues," and middle America guitar pop of "Sad Baptist Rain." There's an ache in Moreland's songs that doesn't go away. He hides it well with effervescent backdrops, but that's his talent in a nutshell. (Wed., 8:20pm, St. David's Historic Sanctuary)


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