Despite their Houston Press "Best New Act" nomination, L.L. Cooper boasts considerable local experience. Namesake guitar-slinger Larry Cooper and bassist Jeff Enlow previously lent their chops to scene stalwart Lisa Novak. Rick Thompson spent a good decade handling keyboards and guitars for Moses Guest before signing on, and all this high-caliber experience serves the band well on debut effort Old Hardin Store Road. Stylistically, L.L. never ventures terribly far from well-trod paths. Country (both traditional and alt), Americana, folk, bar-rock and a little bit of Cajun spice outline their territory. It may be a bit reserved, but certainly not boring; the band weaves these influences over and around each other nicely. For my money, very few acts sound better accompanying a round of Lone Stars in a smoky bar.