Album Review

A Fresh Take on Dylan, the Doors, and the Hollies

Fancy FreeRobert Rex Waller, Jr. has spent the last 16 years fronting the California alt-country band I See Hawks in L.A. Though the group is known largely for his songs, Fancy Free, his first solo outing, finds him delivering nothing but well-chosen covers, including imaginatively arranged readings of Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me,” the Doors’ “The Crystal Ship,” the Hollies’ “The Air I Breathe,” Neil Young’s “Albuquerque,” and the Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset.” As the artist notes on his website, “For me, this album is about singing.” That’s just fine, because Waller, whose vocals are redolent of the late Waylon Jennings, has a deep, rich baritone that commands attention. His CD, which features excellent guitar, piano, and fiddle accompaniment, suggests that we’ll be hearing more from him.

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