Ductape And Songcraft

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 24, 2009 9:00PM

2009_06_brad_peterson.jpg Brad Peterson's The Ductape Album opens with a song that could have been ripped from the latter period catalog of The Monkees. We sincerely mean that as a compliment and anyone familiar with the prefab four's days of fighting for their musical independence will know exactly what we're talking about. The rest of you should know that the song we're talking about, "More," is a rocky-tonk and roller that bounds out of the gate throwing up clouds of dust and glitter in its path. It's also the first time we've seen Peterson travel so nimbly and lightheartedly through a tune.

The vibe continues throughout The Ductape Album, its title tune manages to pull a mournful steel pedal in its bobbing path to lend the otherwise toe-tapper with a mournful edge without steeping the song in distress. That ain't easy kids. Then things get a little weird with the disjointed percussion and keyboards "Serenity Prayer," a song that despite those seemingly dissonant elements remains catchy as hell. We've always enjoyed Peterson's work, but this opening trifecta sees him at his loosest and most playful.

After this Peterson slips into more comfortable clothes, brewing up a stew of Americana-tinged rock that for the most part gently rolls along. It's good stuff, but we like it best when the album take a turn in its final third and Peterson is again stretching his powerful tenor over riskier terrain. there's nothing avant-garde or particularly challenging to the listener in any of this, but there is an admirable musical dexterity on display over most off this disc that Peterson hasn't displayed in the past, making this our favorite album off his thus far.

Brad Peterson plays an album release show for The Ductape Album tomorrow, June 25, at Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee, 9 p.m., $10, 21+