Here’s a record which is hardly current but has been doggedly battling for my listening attention ever since the turn of the year.
As with his debut LP, in fact probably more so, ‘The Opera Circuit’ is a varied trawl through the styles of the great American songbook and beyond. In fact TOC is probably even less of a rock LP than TGOP even if it does include ‘You’re Only Lonely’ the first track which drew me to him and the only track which could obviously be labelled rock.
Amongst the dizzying array of styles, the one constant throughout is his voice, which honestly sounds like it should come from someone with at least three decades more life experience than young Mr Hinson. That comparison stretches to the songs themselves – these songs have been lived.
I said in my introduction that TOC has been battling for attention amongst my many listening choices and that’s because, like its predecessor, it’s a far from immediate record. But the fact that I keep returning to it despite competition from frankly easier to listen to records is a good indicator of its depth. One thing I like about this record is that it is something of a stretch for me.
Another indication of its quality is that, whilst it was quite an easy task to pick the outstanding track from TGOP, that’s not the case here. So let’s go for something that you perhaps wouldn’t expect to hear on MPT:
The Texan should release a follow-up LP later this year and that’s a release I’m certainly looking forward to with a degree of anticipation. And there are possible UK dates for June as well with his new “power trio”, which sounds intriguing.