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Monday, March 14, 2011

Jonny Burke

Distance and Fortune (Dreamcar Records)

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Looking at the cover of Texas-based singer-songwriter Jonny Burke's debut CD, Distance and Fortune, it's easy to mistake this for a reissue of a long-lost country-rock album from the 1970s. There's a satisfied-looking Burke—gazing off into the distance, wearing bell-bottom jeans and a too-small T-shirt—frozen in a faded photograph taken outside of a wood-sided house surrounded by palm trees. And when you push "play," Exile-era Rolling Stones influences abound.

Credit the album's live vibe to former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford, who knows exactly what to do with Burke's slightly nasally voice. Despite the easy musical comparisons, Burke's got a style all his own, out of time though it may be. About the only thing missing is the vinyl crackles as this album spins to a contemplative close.