Hip Springs Eternal

Photo by James BunoanKEVIN DUTTON

Breezy, feel-good songs about hearts on fire at sundown? Not so hip. High harmonies going la-la-la-la-la? Not so hip. And a happy whistle break in the middle of a song? That sure ain't hip. Yet this 10-song exercise in understatement, melody and acoustic musicianship is very hip if you think hip is a CD that resonates with all the beauty, and danger, that nature holds. Deserts, pine trees, Maui sunsets, desert kings with copper eyes, pints of beer: all the important stuff is covered here in very listenable fashion. Dutton, a founding member of Trip the Spring, for years handled the majority of singing and songwriting for that troupe, and with his solo debut he's tastefully backed up by former Trip mates Ian Miller on bass, John Kraus on ukulele and backing vocals, and brother David Dutton on drums. Kevin Dutton's main strength has always been his words; he's a sensitive and poetic lyricist, and the deceptively simple strains of his vocals and words belie a more dramatic and evocative intensity. The moon isn't full; it unloads. The wind isn't hot; it's a bonfire in the devil's throat. Icicles aren't just icicles; they're diamonds falling in the sun. Burnville may be melodic and breezy, but it has an edgy undertow that surfaces at the choicest moments. No, this is not something you listen to when you're pissed and want to haul ass down the highway; it is what you listen to on cool summer nights when the only person you really care about in that moment is sitting, standing, dancing or lying next to you. And that kind of shit is always hip.

Contact: tdutton70@cox.net

OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.

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