AM Troubled Times (Defend Music; October 2006)
This Tulsa-born, New Orleans-raised, and L.A.-residing
singer-songwriter is leading the Hotel Cafe pack, as
far as I can tell. He’s come through Santa Barbara a couple times
now, both before and after blowing up on the national scene thanks
to KCRW, South By Southwest, and
songs on MTV, HBO, and indie films. Being named the best songwriter
of 2005 by L.A. Weekly doesn’t hurt either.
This album, which was picked up by Defend Music after
SXSW, is full of heartache and happiness. Somehow, AM manages to
weave sad-leaning lyrics into upbeat, positive melodies, much like
the SoCal sunshine warms your heart even when you’re brain’s gone
cold from sitting in traffic for hours. His tunes are much like
life: amidst pain and troubled times, we find hope and learn how to
smile. AM manages to be serious without being sappy and poppy
without the saccharine. It’s not immediately apparent who he sounds
like, if that’s what you’re wondering. But to me, that’s a good
AM makes another appearance at SOhO this coming Tuesday,
November 14, as part of the Element songwriter series. He’ll be
accompanied by Chris Pierce, another up-and-comer on the L.A.
singer-songwriter scene. See sohosb.com or call 962-7776 for tickets.