Jim Roll

Ready to Hang

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The debut album by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based singer-songwriter Jim Roll is an honest and engaging slice of roots rock. The 13 tunes were all penned by Roll and invoke a healthy range of forebears, from Gram Parsons and Jesse Winchester, to EXILE-era Rolling Stones.

Roll is joined here by a small, sympathetically matched gang of like-minded players. Their rough and tumble interplay belies hefty chops by all, as well as a deep reverence for the integrity of each song. The album flows seamlessly from country-swamp grooves, such as "Backseat," to the quietude of folk-like settings, as on the solo acoustic "Mary Ann," while "Never Gonna Dry (These Eyes)" sounds like a long lost Roky Erickson nugget. Roll is a strong writer, and he followed up on this exceptional 1998 debut two years later with the equally compelling LUNETTE.

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