Volta Sounds – 2002 – 48 minutes

Goodtime John, aka former 46 Long member John Cowhie, treats us to something a little bit special on his debut album, 'Brought Four Ways Out Of Town'. Although Cowhie may not be blessed with a particularly distinctive voice, it's perfect for these gently understated songs. The band of talented musicians – comprised of members of The Redneck Manifesto and Connect Four Orchestra – don't overpower his hushed vocals as Cowhie sings of cold rain-soaked cities and retiring "to my hammock beneath the trees".

A yearning towards the pastoral simplicity of country life runs through several songs, particularly in 'Goodtimes At The Top Of The Line' where Cowhie and the band sound almost too weary to sing and play, beaten down by "this crazy town". They're all wide awake on 'Throw a Question' which, although initially a gently strummed ballad, throws (instrumental) shapes as the band relish the opportunity to rock out and make some noise.

Although recorded in just four days, 'Brought Four Ways…' is one of the most laid-back records you're going to hear this summer. Music to watch clouds drift by.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Brought Four Ways Out Of Town – My Idea Of Fun – Stay Down – Lonely Road – Did You Meet Anyone Better Than Yourselves? – Before I Freeze – Goodtimes At The Top Of The Line – Slappy – Throw A Question – I've Always Had You To Hold Me Down