Brian Thomas Bourgault

A Denverite by way of Vermont, singer- songwriter Bourgault, who appears at the Lion's Lair on Friday, April 18, with Local 33, could easily have placed his best handful of tunes on a full-length disc alongside a dozen or so lesser ones and left listeners to find the good stuff on their own. Instead, he takes a thriftier approach on Fall, an alt-country EP whose four songs are each worth hearing. "Smile," the opener, sets Bourgault's search for "the next wrong thing to say" against rootsy pop with just enough brawn; "Never Got Tired" uses an anthemic chorus to boost its tale of love and loyalty; "Spark" echoes with melancholy, thanks to the violin and viola playing of Kelly O'Dea; and although "Back to Virginia" nods to Steve Earle a bit more often than is strictly advisable, there are far worse performers to evoke. In other words, Fall is filler free. It's too soon to predict if Bourgault can repeat this feat for an entire album, but on this project, at least, he's put his money on the right tracks. (See www.brianthomasbourgault.com.)

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