Tom Morello, the virtuoso guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, has taken to calling himself the Nightwatchman and has been stealthily slipping in and out of coffee-shop open-mike nights. But don't get your hopes up. With his new project, Morello leaves all of his prescience and talent behind in favor of a convoluted singer-songwriter shtick, billing himself as some neo-folk messiah here to lead the masses to true freedom. On One Man Revolution, his first solo attempt, Morello audaciously builds the Nightwatchman's identity as Woody Guthrie's heir to the folk-protest throne, compares himself to Martin Luther ("95 Theses," not "I Have a Dream") and declares that he's the one hiding "in the bushes with a baseball bat." If Morello didn't have the major-label backing that his reputation garners, the Nightwatchman would be a lot like the guy on Colfax banging his guitar and yelling about political conspiracy and government corruption — only the guy on Colfax is a lot more prolific.
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