Salvation in the Ground
Label: Palaver Records
As a solo artist, Allen Thompson released one of the most unassuming pleasures in 2008 with his self-titled release. With Salvation in the Ground, he veers off the solo path in favor of a group dynamic, and all feels right. Thanks to the band's sunny harmonies, Thompson's rootsy, countrified sound takes on an airy, '70s canyon rock feel, elevating songs like "Dirt to Dust" and "First Apology" to levels of sublime. But The Allen Thompson Band isn't lightweight or artsy; check out the funky, infectious jams of "The Purple Rose and the Black Balloon" and "Last Goodbye" for some musical muscle.