Critic's Choice

These days, singer/songwriter types are a dime a dozen. There's no shortage of one-dimensional, heartbreak-soaked troubadours saturating the sonic landscape -- they're as interchangeable as the multicolored faceplates made for cell phones. This is precisely why it's refreshing to discover an anomaly like Las Vegas native Franky Perez. Discovered by former Black Crowes manager Pete Angelus, Perez (due at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on Monday, August 25, and Tuesday, August 26) is as versatile as he is eloquent. On his eighteen-track debut album, Poor Man's Son -- which he cheekily refers to as "the recession special" -- he navigates effortlessly between quiet acoustic soliloquies and rousing bring-down-the-house, bar-band rockers as well as Latin/Cajun inflected numbers. As each successive track unfolds, a great storyteller is revealed; his hopelessly romantic lyrics are poignant without being overwrought and corny. With a sound comparable to Mellencamp in his heyday, Edwin McCain, and at times, Los Lobos, this is blue-collar rock at its best and worth every hard-earned penny.


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