In his decade of playing to packed houses across the country with the Subdudes, Tommy Malone helped kick off the rootsy jam-band phenomenon with his stinging blues/rock guitar and soulful vocals.

In his decade of playing to packed houses across the country with the Subdudes, Tommy Malone helped kick off the rootsy jam-band phenomenon with his stinging blues/rock guitar and soulful vocals. After the demise of the Subdudes and their successor, the ill-fated band Tiny Town, Malone steps up with his first solo release, a primarily acoustic set. The opening track, "Fat Tuesday," solemnly ponders death—quite the antithesis of a jaunty Mardi Gras romp. The mood brightens on subsequent tunes, which range from the funky vamp "Virginia Street" to the Van Morrison-esque "Too Close for Comfort." Malone cranks up the electric for a psychedelic wah-wah solo on "Hold On." There's more fleet-fingered fury on the sprightly "Real." Despite such uptempo moments, the album is rather dark and meditative. But with the rolling acoustic guitar filigree of "Somebody Got Caught," Malone harks back to the Subdudes' most distinctive work, which is good news for those who miss the band. Contact: 504-948-4600.—SA

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