by Tony Russell | August 2011

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The urban blues stories of a streetwise gumshoe.

The ambience of Chris Bergson's music is an Edward Hopper world of suspicion and solitude, dusk-time avenues and dimly lit bars, its soundtrack a terse dialogue of guitar and saxophone. This is the terrain of Tom Waits and Lou Reed, and Bergson has something of each in his gruff, laconic delivery, but his sound is intransigently his own. Admirers of Fall Changes (it was MOJO Blues Album of the Year for 2008), hearing Goin' Home, Shattered Avenue, Mr. Jackson and the title track, will swiftly fall into step again. But while Bergson is arrestingly himself in his own songs, he can be handcuffed by other people's: Dust My Broom is just a competent genre performance, and Dylan's Standing in the Doorway, though ardently sung, is in thrall to its original arrangement. But about two thirds of the album is riveting.