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How many lonesome singer songwriters does it take for someone to figure out that we don't need any more of them?  I'm not sure if there is an upper limit but if there was some kind of cull then Luke Roberts would be on the right side of the cut. He peddles a kind of back porch melancholy that is lighted up by wandering violin and lightly brushed drums. Opener 'I Don't Want You Anymore' ...

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REVIEWS

The Iron Gates At Troop and Newport by Luke Roberts
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8/10 Clinton Staff review, 16 March 2012

How many lonesome singer songwriters does it take for someone to figure out that we don't need any more of them?  I'm not sure if there is an upper limit but if there was some kind of cull then Luke Roberts would be on the right side of the cut. He peddles a kind of back porch melancholy that is lighted up by wandering violin and lightly brushed drums. Opener 'I Don't Want You Anymore' is a lovely lonesome strum which has certain similarities to Gene Clark's 'Polly' (probably one of the best ever examples of maudlin countrified songwriting you'll find anywhere). 'His Song' picks up the pace somewhat with a mid tempo lollop, Roberts voice is a very simple, natural thing while the backing is carefully plucked and strummed. Obviously its hard to get through a review of this kind of thing without mentioning Bonnie Prince Billy, a lazy comparison but its in the general ball park. Roberts certainly has a voice of his own (again like Tall Firs there's a bit of a J Mascis quiver in there). A nice record and some songs of real quality particularly the gorgeous harmonies of 'Spree Wheel' but the original posed question is still valid. If it were up to me I'd cull Bonnie Prince Billy and let the rest of them fight it out.




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