Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Feb. 19, 2016
Best known for his work with Alejandro Escovedo, and currently commanding the guitarist chair in Patty Griffin's band, David Pulkingham knows his own voice. Little Pearl, his fourth effort following two instrumental discs and an EP that added vocals, shines up his most accomplished work yet. Textbook Austin singer-songwriter, he manages a couple of curves in the mix. Most would end with a lullaby, but Pulkingham opens with one to fine effect. The title track features Griffin on vocals and the Tosca String Quartet creating a languid mood that's just about better than everything that follows. The noisy, erotic "Whiskey From Your Mouth" and off-kilter blues of "Jesus Was a Democrat," a straight-up cousin to anything from Guy Forsyth's songbook, keep pace. Little Pearl, a surprisingly complete endeavor from an unexpected, obviously talented source.