Another twenty-something singer-songwriter from Los Angeles? No way? Really? For his part, Johnathan Rice is more than a cut above most. His songwriting, in fact, is strong enough to have caught the attention of Peter Buck and earn him some opening spots on R.E.M.'s recent tour. Sure, he's had something of a charmed life, playing Roy Orbison in the movie Walk the Line and opening on tours for other well-known bands. But none of that would make a lick of difference if the guy didn't have immediately likable material. It's part country, part rock, like a lot of stuff these days, but distinctive, which can't be said for nearly enough people charting similar territory. Maybe we've all heard just about enough Americana-dappled rock and roll, but give Rice a chance and you'll hear a welcome new voice.
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