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Ed Pettersen

Somewhere South of Here – 1997 (Tangible)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Ed Pettersen

From the opening guitar chords of Ed Pettersen's second album, which seem to come straight off a Byrds record, you know this is not your father's country music. Some songs, such as the cleverly humorous "Dwiou" and the plaintive "How I Lost You (The Official Record)," are country songs.

But for the most part, this is solid roots/rock, sounding like a pastiche of singer/songwriters and rockin' folk/country types. Pettersen wrote most of the songs himself, but three were co-written with Scott Kempner, formerly of the cult faves The Del Lords. (He also penned one of the album's highlights, "Listening To Elvis," on his own). The album ebbs and flows nicely between quiet folky and uptempo rockers. Pettersen's voice fits the genre well and will remind you of someone different on almost every cut. The songs are well-crafted, catchy tunes with interesting lyrics.

Pettersen is proof that if you lift from enough of the right sources, you can create an album that's not only entertaining, but gives you an artistic identity of your own.