Jason Heath and The Greedy Souls 'Packed For Exile' - Still Small

California Wine opens the album with a sunny, good time disposit ion that, even through some of the songs that deal with the darker ends of the street, never gets overly oppressive. Something that pervades this album blend of Americana, blue collar rock and nuanced folk tales. The accordion is central to many of the songs here giving them a border, folkish lean but the five piece band are joined by a rake of guests who add some additional flavours. Co-produced by Shadwrak, Mike Fennel and the band, it flows smoothly through its 14 tracks and hour plus running time with a hint of Springsteen's concerns for the plight and lives of the working class and the common man and woman fighting corporate greed and corruption. There is a further link in that Jason Federici's father the late Danny Federici played with The Boss. But while these guys have similar themes and some similar sounds that will not be confused with the E Street Band. In the main because Heath's lead vocals are different and the band likewise are their own thing. The tackle the slower, bigger songs like A Fighter's Lullaby deal with a certain despair in a positive way, while the more folkish side is apparent in Truth Rag, a post-Pogues puckishness. The seem to be a band striving to stay close to their collective sense of community and soul. They. like others, dream of better times ahead and make their music to help to realize them, even if for some those dreams may only be illusions for those who hear them. As the title suggest the over-riding theme is one of exile, of feeling remote - even in one's hometown. God's Name In Vain is an anti-war song delivered with a passion and a restrained power that makes it a standout. Fans of the toughened street sounds that Springsteen has used as his stock-in-trade through the years would do well to check out these guys latest offering.