T.S. Eliot said "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal." Graham Lindsey's not a thief. He is, however, a modern songster adept at combing the archives of Americana, alt country, and folk, judiciously pilfering influences, and then creating songs that sound eerily familiar and brand-new all at once. His voice uncannily Dylan-like, Lindsey dances along the edge between release and restraint, his delivery harkening back to his punk days and his lyrics a nod toward that anguished, lonesome, old-time ethos.
This is raw, elemental music, by a guy who's drawn to the backwoods—in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and now Montana. But don't mistake raw for unpolished: redolent with fiddle, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, pedal steel, and dobro, We Are All Alone in this Together is an exquisitely executed collection. Lindsey's third album is at times raucous, at others ethereal. My only complaint is that the few dirge-like tunes, including, unfortunately, the title track, drag a bit. Don't mistake raw for unsentimental, either. Lindsey is as hopeful as he is pained, and the title and chorus of the first track encapsulates this: "Tomorrow is Another Night," suggesting there's always a new dawn, and always, inevitably, the accompanying darkness.
Graham Lindsay plays the Badlander Tuesday, June 14, at 9 PM. $5.