A hybrid of roadhouse country and heartland rock rages through Dirtflowers, the latest album from Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy. The energy is high and the balance of maximalist anthems and sparse ballads is fantastic. The passionate lyrics come from Willis in a gravely whisper (“I Bring The Rain”) and emphatic scream (“Memorial Papers”); the pacing of the record has a fresh eclecticism that keeps you guessing.

That goes from the musicianship as well; the band (including those extraordinary horns) elevates Dirtflowers higher and higher. It’s a rollicking record that’s surprising in the best way. Warmth radiates throughout and gives it a timeless quality. Bringing us closer and closer and believing in its message (“I want to be/All you saw in me” on “Paper Cranes”), because it believes in itself.

Favorite Tracks: “Memorial Papers,” “When It Happens,” & “Paper Cranes”

Editor’s note: Til Willis’ album release show kicks off Saturday at 9:00 p.m. at Kaw Valley Public House.



Nathan has contributed to I Heart Local Music since November 2012. He lives in Kansas City, MO.

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