Music News

Chris McGarry

Chris McGarry was born on the Mississippi, raised on hymns and ballads and is currently living in the Internet age on Capitol Hill — that much we know. And sure enough, his debut full-length reflects this: It's rootsy, full of banjo and lap steel and twang, but there's also some Saddle Creek and other miscellaneous indie rock in there. So the cover image of stark rootsiness, with McGarry eating straight from a can of black beans, really only tells part of the story. Half the album's content deals with city life, including "Brooklyn Bound," which is something no one seeking anything down-home would be. There are a couple clever lyrical turns here, but many more vague stanzas that don't quite amount to poetry. What happens from here is anyone's guess: Concrete cowboys have turned into everything from frauds to geniuses. Smart money here leans toward somewhere in between.

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky