J.P. Cregan and Phil Yates

J.P. Cregan “Elba”
JP Cregan returns with a follow up to Man Overboard. Cregan has that Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello vibe down just right, and the opener “Wreck” is a solid single. Cregan is joined by Aaron Wilson whose trumpet features prominently on this tune as well as “Here It Comes Again.”

Some really nice steel guitar work on the shuffling “I Want To Let You Know” and the “The Maritime” rocks like those classic Dylan and McGuinn collaborations. Another rich sound is found in “Saw Her on the Metro” with a more traditional power pop composition. The gentle acoustic ballads of “Wishing Blue” and “Fall With Me” provide a nice contrast. A sophomore album that proves a balanced approach of alt. country and power pop can be successful.

Phil Yates “Tumble Stairs”
Phil Yates makes his full time living as a math teacher, and his new EP Tumble Stairs shows he’s got an additional talent (ugh). “Good Morning To You” is a minor chord gem in the best Lindsey Buckingham tradition. The slow country “Barely There But Blowing” is a witty ballad about not “getting’ any.” Yates has a goofy sense of black humor that makes itself present in “Ninjas Vs. Zombies” and “The Bottom Of An Urn.” The only rocker here is “California Song” and “What A Shame” ends things on a bitter note. Overall an innocuous, but interesting EP.

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