Keeper

Continuing his evolution from L.A. punk forefather (with X) to tender of the Bakersfield honky-tonk flame (see Merle Haggard, Buck Owens), Doe follows his excellent 2009 collaboration with The Sadies, Country Club, with a scruffier set of rockers. Dude’s a film/TV actor in his spare time, as well, and you can tell. On "Giant Step Backwards," he’s a former factory worker longing for a lost partner. And on "Never Enough," he’s a fed-up dude ranting at a wife, or an economic system, obsessed with junk and money. The band, with guitar journeyman Smokey Hormel, smokes, while Patti Griffin and Jill Sobule play welcome supporting roles. Ever since X, Doe has always sounded best with a tough broad beside him.

Listen to "Don't Forget How Much I Love You":

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