Leo Rondeau 'Down At The End Of The Bar' Self-Released

This Austin based singer-songwriter has released a second album of original songs that are equal parts filled with humour, history and observation that make them a good listen. Musically Rondeau rings the changes and adds instrumental textures throughout. Rapture features banjo and brass to help set the mood of the songs quizzical nature, a reflection on the mysterious ways. That contrasts with the album closer Better Place For You which features a bare bones backing of banjo and fiddle. Between those points there is enough pedal steel and dobro to firmly stamp the words "country music" across the songs, but coming from Austin don't expect that Music Row sheen and pop-polish. While Rondeau doesn't have the most distinctive voice you may come across it is one that does what it needs to do to get these songs across, and one that will get better with age and timbre. The players include the renowned Cindy Cashdollar on dobro and steel along with some fine Austin players who give the perfect backing to this set of serviceable songs. Rondeau's Civil War era outlaw song Had I Know, with its atmospheric trumpet, is one of the strongest songs here and an album highlight. Leo Rondeau is definitely one to watch and Down At The End Of The Bar suggest a bigger talent in the making. www.leorondeau.net