George Inai's latest boasts the most creative design of any local release in recent memory: a modified digipack with folk-art graphics from which the disc rises, pop-up style, when opened. The music inside would have to be mighty good to measure up, and it comes awfully close. This Foolish Music, the focus of a Thursday, April 5, CD-release party at the Walnut Room co-starring the Perry Weissman 3 and Roger Green, combines American sounds and themes in a smart, cinematic way.
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Like Los Lobos, whose "Kiko and the Lavender Moon" is covered here, Inai loves the mythic quality of homegrown roots music, and thanks to producer John Macy's spacious palette and atmospheric pedal steel, he frequently captures these characteristics in song. "Lonesome Highway," replete with Dereck Banach's spaghetti-Western trumpet, is emblematic of these offerings. And if Inai's vocals occasionally seem a skosh affected, that's a small price to pay for such an interesting package.