Basically, I stumbled, quite literally, into The Cavern one night and was taken aback by Altobelli's way-beyond-his-year's lyrical musings and confident demeanor. At the time, all the lad had recorded was the intriguing Streetcar Visions EP. And he was still working out his obvious admiration for Ryan Adams.
But, since, Altobelli has been busy: His full-length debut, Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom, hits the street this week and Altobelli is having the CD release party at Buon Giorno Coffee House in Grapevine this Friday. Saturday, he heads to Austin for a release show at Thunderbird Coffee.
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Seems Altobelli also has a love for caffeine.
But whatever the inspiration or libation, Flowers is a major step forward for the shaggy singer/songwriter. Featuring 15 tracks that recall Murry Hammond's top-notch contributions to Old 97's, the new album is dark, dusty and suitably ragged. Songs like "Last Train Home" and "Dalton the Prophet" mix hope and despair like a (good) Cohen Brothers movie, and the opening cut, "Dallas" is not the great Jimmy Dale Gilmore song that gave this blog its name, but an Altobelli original.
"I really don't think I could pull off that cover," says the singer with characteristic humility.
Well, I think he could. And perhaps this Friday in Grapevine, he will? --Darryl Smyers