Compiling material from Tandy's little-heard micro-indie releases The Bloodroot Transcriptions, Lichtenstein's Oriole, and Some Summer's Day and tossing in a pair of newly recorded tracks for good measure, The Lowdown: 1997-2002 serves as a balanced, smartly compiled introduction to a group heretofore unknown to all but the most omniscient alt-country fans. Distinguished by frontman Mike Ferrio's world-weary vocals and rough-hewn but literate songs, Tandy crafts generously spacious roots pop so unassuming that the hooks take almost too long to truly sink in -- in fact, The Lowdown might wind up in your pile of CDs headed for the used record store unless last-minute listens to gems like "The District Doctor" and "Far From Home" earn it a reprieve. One bit of warning: Even the presence of country superfreak Jim White doesn't make America covers like the closing "Sister Golden Hair" any more palatable.
AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny
feat: Dave Van Ronk
feat: Kelly Willis
feat: Jim White