Album Reviews

Tim Easton and the Freelan Barons – Beat the Band

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Tim Easton and The Freelan Barons
Beat the Band

(Campfire Propaganda)

Ohio/Joshua Tree singer/songwriter Tim Easton isn’t new to the music game. He’s released seven other albums, including 2009’s Porcupine, and contributed to various outside projects. Beat the Band finds him returning to the indie grooves of his debut, Special 20. Along with Aaron Lee Tasjan on guitar and piano, Mark Stepro on skins and Alex Livingstone on bass, Easton’s crafted a gruff, star-crossed collection of songs that lyrically brings to mind the heart-rending sounds of 2001’s The Truth About Us.

The opener, “Maid of the Mist,” features Easton at his best and brightest. “Daily Life” is a skittery charmer with well-rounded lyrics and a bad ass backbeat, all held together with snarling guitar work. “What Do You Live For” finds him asking the common soul about their hopes and dreams. “Nobody Plays Piano In Athens, GA” is a gorgeous tribute to late musical genius Vic Chesnutt and album closer “Just Like Any Problem” is bound to be a fan favorite, an easy, questioning ballad that encompasses not only the author’s inner emotions but those of listeners everywhere. A truly memorable collection of anthems that’s sure to please.

—Tom Hallet

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