Friday, May 24, 2024

Archive Review: Ed Pettersen and the High Line Riders’ Somewhere South of Here (1997)

Ed Pettersen and the High Line Riders’ Somewhere South of Here
In the “style-over-substance” environment of the ’90s, songwriting has taken a back-seat in importance to image in rock ‘n’ roll. There’s still a slew of gifted wordsmiths wandering around the musical horizon – towns like L.A., Austin, and Nashville are awash in singer/songwriter types who’ll never get the time of day from the major labels. It’s just that in this day and time of marketing strategies and multi-Platinum sales expectations, the songwriter is simply not needed. Which makes it all sweeter when one runs across a talent brave enough to buck the odds like Ed Pettersen.

A true roots-rock craftsman, Pettersen still believes in the power of music to tell the story...and Somewhere South of Here is full of stories. From the modern outlaws of “Run Away” to the hopeless romantic of “What A Little Love Can Do,” Pettersen spins tales of love and loss, hope and betrayal. Collaborations with ex-Del Lord Scott Kempner are additional joys, while Pettersen’s rendition of Kempner’s “Listening To Elvis” is reverent as well as timely. You’ll find nothing fancy on Somewhere South of Here, just exceptional songwriting and tasteful, no-frills musical accompaniment.

With strains of rock, folk and country providing a solid base to work upon, Ed Pettersen and the High Line Riders have delivered a wonderfully unassuming effort with substance that will be around long after the styles have changed. (Tangible Music, 1997)

Review originally published by Thora-Zine, Austin TX

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