Dimestore Mystery

Tea Leaves

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Seattle guitarist Daniel F. Craig played with his pal, Daniel A. Craig, on Quakers on Probations Every Living Thing, engineered by Graig Markel (ex-New Sweet Breath) with guests Colin Spring and Wrecking Crew keyboards legend Larry Knechtel (sadly deceased as of 2009). During those sessions, the precocious 15-year-old also made this solo album. He benefits from Markel's production/playing and Knechtel's cameos, though his style veers away from dad's homespun '60s pop toward an intricately played folk-pop sung in a mumbly, foggy, effective drawl like J. Mascis. Acknowledging debts to Conor Oberst and Elliott Smith, Craig shows talent after a slow start (a lesser folk instrumental and jazzier excursion), as light drums and bass and his curling acoustic take precedence, augmented by ukulele and mandolin. The mood is world-weary, as if from an aging sage -- not an industrious boy neglecting his Earth Science homework.

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