What if Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams got in a pickup truck and drove across America writing songs? Well, my money is on Lucinda stepping up to the plate if the truck broke down. But musically, Kevin Beadles is what that collaboration might sound like. His new CD, “You Can’t Argue With Water”, dabbles in Americana, singer-songwriter, and roots rock styles. Beadles is a versatile talent who writes thoughtful (and sometimes amusing) lyrics, and has a warm, well-controlled voice that is mighty easy on the ears.
There are lots of strong cuts on “You Can’t Argue With Water”, which starts with the perfect “Shine”. “Shine” is a radio-friendly pop country rocker that crosses several musical genres, and boasts a catchy melody that allows Beadles to showcase how effortlessly he can drift into falsetto and back again. “Shine” is easily my favorite track, but there is lots more that I look forward to hearing time and time again. “High” is a sweet ballad made even more beautiful with a truly graceful and earnest vocal performance by Beadles. The mellow title track is another standout, featuring lyrics such as, “You can’t argue with water, you can’t reason with rain, it just falls where it wants to, and love’s the same”. Beadles kicks the blues rock into gear with a roadhouse tune called “Sharkskin” but, again, where he really ‘shines’ is on the ballads, “Caroline” being another example.
Beadles plays a sublime kind of music that you might hear coming from a Midwestern porch. In many respects, “You Can’t Argue With Water” is cleansing, washing away the overly processed garbage that usually contaminates the airwaves, and nurturing our thirst for pristine talent. I recommend you check out Kevin Beadles if you like Ryan Adams, Billy Falcon, Chris Isaak, or Ellis Paul.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10