“TENNESSEE” (MUSIC NEWS NASHVILLE)

“I may go for days where my guitar takes me/That’s just what I do/I may fly away on a western bound jet plane/But I’m always coming home to you,” sings Americana artist David Newbould on the rolling opening track of his latest album, “Tennessee.” “Always Coming Home” is one of 12 tracks recorded in Music City and helmed by Ben Strano, who gives productions here an organic, live feel.

Newbould is a Nashvillian by way of Austin, New York City and Toronto, and the singer/songwriter has a hand in penning all his tunes, which are distinctively Texan-folk for the most part. His relaxed and breathy delivery can’t hold a candle to his vibrant Hal Ketchum-esque upper register that finds its way into his stand-out selections.

The laid-back vibe is broken by the driving Springsteen tempo of “You’re With Me” – a duet with sultry singer Kalisa Ewing, and bare bones acoustic guitar and Dan Dugmore’s pedal steel match the longing ache in their voices in “Down For Your Love.” Arguably Newbould has his best performance on the rock-edged “Lucinda,” where dynamics, control, power and tenderness culminate in outright howling yodels.

Bound to be a live-show crowd pleaser, “It Can Always Be Worse” adds a spotlight on the able musicians on this record, and coming in at 7:13, proves to be the longest track. It’s a tour de force of tempo changes and emotional singing. Even though he seems to give it all, I can’t help but hope that Newbould’s got the best yet still in him.

-Janet Goodman
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