EP Roulette

The Coal Porters

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EP Roulette Review

by Mark Deming

This six-song odds-and-ends EP from Sid Griffin's post-Long Ryders project turned out to be the Coal Porters' last studio release before they retooled themselves into an acoustic group, and it sends this edition of the band off into the sunset on a high note. The lead-off tune, "Everything," is a winning bit of country-pop with the sort of anthemic chorus Griffin was born to write, while the live at the BBC version of "Me, Here at Your Door" that closes out the disc beats the studio take on Los London hands down. In between, you get a tasty preview of Griffin's subsequent band, Western Electric ("Emily in Ginger"), a remastered (and audibly improved) cut from Los London ("Help Me"), a cool Creedence Clearwater Revival cover ("Who'll Stop the Rain," appropriately mournful), and a tribute to that other Cole Porter ("Don't Fence Me In"), which swings nicely. It's no masterpiece, but EP Roulette is a fine pocket-sized picture of what Sid Griffin does best, and captures the Coal Porters in much stronger form than on the disappointing Los London.

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