Jon Dee Graham's whiskey 'n' road-tar voice might be the best rasp this side of Tom Waits. On the soul-searcher "Swept Away," when Graham growls about sitting on the back porch and smoking seven cigarettes, you start craving a nicotine patch. Graham's gravelly croon carries plenty of weight, conveying a life that's traveled rocky roads and survived troubled times.
Not quite a folkie, the Austin musician wielded a fierce guitar for the True Believers, influential cowpunks from the '80s -- and he still loves to crank it up. "Bonaparte," from last year's Full, ignites with a buoyantly noisy riff, while the infectious "Something Wonderful" surges with optimistic fervor.
The Silos, led by another longtime indie-rock comrade, Walter Salas Humara, shares the bill with Graham and also accompanies him. The duo's recent collaboration, Come On Like the Fast Lane, proves that these guys aren't easing up after 20 years on the road.