Austin's Matt the Electrician (Matthew Sower to his family and friends) must be both proud and puzzled by the blurb on his CDBaby marketing page which says, "Recommended if you like Ben Folds, Paul Simon, Taj Mahal." Oddly enough, that description isn't as far off as it seems at first, although we would have added Tom Waits and fellow Austinite Beaver Nelson to that list. Sower is one of a handful of brainy, somewhat quiet Central Texas singer-songwriters who write with considerable plainfolks wit, down-to-earth blue-collar common sense and smart-folks ideas. What emerges are songs like "Change the Subject" and "One Right Thing," delivered somewhere between Paul Simon's New Yorky folk-pop and Waits's back-alley sandpaper growl. There's just the right mix of vulnerability and strength, ennui and hope to make women want to take him home and mother him. The Electrician makes it earthy and ethereal, and that's a hard trick to pull off.
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