Tommy Malone's 'Natural Born Days'

7/18/2013
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Sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire of Court Yard Hounds perform during the Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series at the Prospect Park Bandshel in New York City.

STEPHEN LOVEKIN/GETTY

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In his first solo recording in 12 years, Louisiana guitarist Tommy Malone, best known as the lead vocalist of the popular Southern band, the Subdudes, plays like he's creating a likable blend of life lessons and comfort food.

That's not to say there isn't great musicianship on this album, because there is, starting with one of the top piano players in New Orleans, England transplant Jon Cleary on keyboards and Susan Cowsill on background vocals. But Malone's about mood and atmosphere, and this disc takes you there with tales of hard times and hurricanes, with anything from country to swampy rhythm & blues.

His inspirational lyrics about forging on in spite of what life throws at you really resonate.

— TOM HENRY