• alan tyler & the lost sons of littlefield Lonesome Cowboys (CD, £2.25)

    label: Hanky Panky Records

    The return of Alan Tyler with an alt-country classic. The original Camden Cowboy and his band. Following the success of their critically-acclaimed, eponymous debut album in 2007 (Q Magazine rightly named it one of the Top 5 Roots Albums of the year) and proving that you don’t need to go to Nashville to master the genre, the album was recorded and mixed by bass player Chris Clarke in his North London Reservoir Studios. It’s a down home affair with guest appearances by Hannah Elton-Wall of Redlands Palomino Company on backing vocals, Tim Kent on banjo and David Barbenel on cello. Tyler and Clarke’s ex-Rockingbird band mate Sean Read joins in on backing vocals, keyboards and tambourine banging. The result is an album that includes the rootsy feel of songs like “Something You Haven’t Told Me” and “The Man That I Am” with the sweet sounds of Jim Morrison’s fiddle and banjo on the latter; traditional country in the style of Tyler’s hero, Waylon Jennings, on tracks like “Rambling Girl” and “Cowboys Don’t Cry”; modern alt-country on “Time To Pay” and “Feel Better”; the mandolin filled hoe-down that is “When You Get Back From New York City” and the out and out rockin’ country closer, “O’er The Hill And Far Away”, with psych guitars and the distinctly West Coast Californian vibe of bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers. Each track, including the sole cover (“I’m A Gambler”, by forgotten '60s pop genius Pete Dello), features Tyler’s “Marlboros and molasses” vocals and the quality musicianship from the Lost Sons that one has come to expect from this band. All of Tyler’s original tracks are written in his unique style, with lyrics reflecting the experiences and point of view of a man born and bred in North London, which manage to fit perfectly into a traditionally American musical genre.

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