by Philip Moss
Written between his home in LA, and a friend’s place in Austin, RF Shannon’s Shane Renfro wanted Rain on Dust to capture the feeling of the long drives between the two cities. And, simply, on this cinematic third album, it’s mission accomplished.
Like a light, warm wind blowing through the desert and across the stretched out highway, Buzzards on the Breeze seductively welcomes you into Renfro’s world – flirting with Beatles-esque guitars, as is the case on so many of the cuts here.
Don’t Be Shy feels a little generic, and falls closer to the likes of The Stands and Liverpool’s faux country scene of the early 2000s than The Byrds. But this is more than made up for by Angeline and Lay Low – both of which recall the best of Kevin Morby. The timeless melodies of Wild Rose Pass, which spaciously float over its gothic Americana backing track, make it not just a standout on this record, but a standout this calendar year.
‘We’re too country for the indie world, not country enough for the Americana crowd, too mellow for the psych scene, too Texas thunderstorm for the California sunshine,’ Renfro stated. But regardless of genre or label, Rain on Dust is simply a mighty fine collection of very well written songs. Go get lost in its gentle wonder.
Secret Meeting score: 78