John Moreland — In the Throes 

He moves through the 10-song collection with The Boss’ swagger, too, effortlessly swaying between fully fleshed folk-rock anthems and quiet, dirt-road ditties.

“Nobody Gives a Damn About Songs” anymore marries a lament of the loss of substance with an impossibly catchy — and classically American — melody. “Blacklist” is just as powerful in its heartbreak, and “Oh Julia” feels like all the best parts of John Mellencamp and Tom Petty rolled into one.

There’s not a crack to be found in the album’s offerings, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a stray note not crafted with the utmost sincerity and thought. The blood, sweat and tears that went into these songs practically bleed through each strum.

In the Throes is as real as gravity and similarly grounded, but all the while, you see Moreland ascend to the higher rungs of Oklahoma folk royalty, being embraced with open arms by the punk-at-heart likes of Woody Guthrie and company as one of their own.

In the Throes is available on vinyl and CD or as a digital download at johnmoreland.bandcamp.com. —Joshua Boydston

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