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Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

Barton Carroll

The Lost One (Skybucket Records)

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The “lost one” that Barton Carroll refers to throughout his third solo album is really several people: a young German girl who survived the Soviet occupation of Berlin, for example, or a misinformed lover. But it could just as easily be the singer/songwriter himself, whose sorrow, sensitivity and selfeffacing wit make these dozen songs a bittersweet symphony of slide guitar, fiddle, harmonica and bassoon.

Taking its name from a 1951 film noir classic, The Lost One provides refuge for Carroll’s characters, burdened souls seeking (but never quite finding) redemption in lives gone askew. Particularly moving are “Those Days are Gone, and My Heart is Breaking,” about a man reflecting on his failures, and “Laurie, Don’t Go,” a father’s gripping plea. They establish Carroll—who has gigged with Crooked Fingers and Azure Ray—as an enviable solo artist, with song after song lingering in the haze.