Stephen Brower, marketing director for Vanguard Records, and I used to write for a defunct online music magazine called Clink. Despite my natural mistrust of music-marketing folks, based on past history, when Brower tells me something “really rocks,” I tend to believe him. And Brower says his recently signed band Alternate Routes is the real deal. Vanguard scooped up the group's Good and Reckless and True recently, after the band had shopped the Jay Joyce-produced (Patty Griffin, Tim Finn) record for two years in hopes of getting a label to give them a budget to make the album a bit more radio-ready. Brower and Vanguard liked Good and Reckless and True just the way it was. Brower says the songs were instantly catchy, and he liked the record immediately, but it was the live show that convinced him the band could deliver. They've been out on the road honing their chops, opening for the likes of alt-country gonzos the Bottle Rockets, Live and blues-rocker Jonny Lang. This is a band to watch.