Drugstore Dreamin’ drops the style playacting and achieves authenticity.

Drugstore Dreamin’ drops the style playacting and achieves authenticity.
Willie Stratton album launch present w/Campbell & Johnston
Might 27, The Marquee, sonicconcerts.com

Is Willie Stratton the actual deal? A lot of rock ‘n’ roll and classic country-western music—the Venn diagram overlap the place Stratton is planting his sonic flag—hinges on a visceral sense of authenticity. If the heartbreaks are fiction somewhat than lived—if the denim comes pre-distressed—all bets are off.

Stratton has been carving his area of interest in Halifax since his late teenagers, taking part in ferocious folks songs to crammed-in crowds at college open mic nights. (They have been all coming to see him.) Again then (2012) he had a band and a metal guitar, a child from Bedford who cherished Woody Guthrie. Within the years since, he’s created albums which are Dick Dale-indebted surf rock (2020’s Grease Coast, that includes the band Seaside Bait) and ones that skew so old-school nation they may’ve been covers from The Grand Ole Opry (2016’s Della Rosa).

Now, Stratton is again along with his newest, April 2022’s Drugstore Dreamin’: An album that reigns within the style playacting and proves that sure, he’s the real article—and that when you haven’t been being attentive to the a number of ECMA-nominated singer-songwriter, it’s excessive time you begin.

Stratton might be celebrating its official launch with an enormous ticket present at The Marquee Might 27, bringing native blues band Campbell & Johnston alongside to heat the stage at 2037 Gottingen Avenue. Followers of alt-country or spine-straightening bass strains might be there early.

click on to enlarge Drugstore Dreamin’ drops the style playacting and achieves authenticity.

Throughout Drugstore Dreamin’, a drawling baritone brings rapid comparisons to a less-theatrical Orville Peck or a Solar File-era Johnny Money. There’s a way of early Elvis and Roy Orbison inflecting Stratton’s singing—one which’s weighty sufficient to counter the pipe organ swell that opens the album and retains the sonic palette steeped in shades of indigo.

Lyrically, it appears like Stratton is braiding inherited reminiscences absorbed by osmosis from Twin Peaks rewatches, Buddy Holly songs or classic pulp novels.

However, the way in which you recognize Peck is a cowboy (even when you doubt the indie star has ever ridden a horse) you imagine it immediately when Stratton sings strains like “I ain’t bought no plans/I’m an Aqua Velva man/You higher imagine I’ll be drugstore dreamin’”: This isn’t an act. It’s simply top-of-the-line albums of 2022.