Kory Quinn 

At the End of the Bar

Portland songwriter Kory Quinn has a refreshingly homespun take on folk-country, a welcome sigh of relief in a contemporary market that bears an uncanny resemblance to arena rock with a southern drawl. Quinn boils it down to red-dirt basics on his most recent full-length album, At the End of the Bar, which combines the five songs on his previous EP, Angels and Outlaws, with nine new cuts for a jukebox-ready roadhouse classic.

Quinn colors within the lines for most of this album, but it’s not all trucker hats and Bud Light here. There’s some New Orleans trumpet on “Chaille-au-pied,” and mournful pedal steel mixes with upbeat harmonica on “Maverick.” And a traditional bluegrass fiddle medley rounds out the album. Two-step drinking songs like “Gonna Come Back For More” fit in well with tender barstool confessionals like the ballad “One of These Days,” all delivered in Quinn’s pleasant tenor. The songs are short and sweet—less than half even reach the three-minute mark—but they’re packed with clever lines, sentimental harmonies and twangy fills. All that makes them the kind of songs that hang around in your brain like honky-tonk regulars.

Kory Quinn and the Comrades play the Bitter Root Brewery in Hamilton Sat., Nov. 23, 6 to 8 PM. Free.

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