My friend, compadre and sometime employer Mr. Tony James Shevlin has a single out now in advance of the release of his new record album, ‘American Odyssey’. Firstly, I will say that it’s not pulling up any trees in terms of re-inventing the form, and in my opinion it’s not the best song on the album – that would be either ‘Ride the Mississippi’ or ‘Tucumcari Sunset’ – the latter with a beautiful nylon-strung guitar solo that echoes Warren Zevon’s ‘Carmelita’ and the former a lolloping blues-groove number written, yes, by The Mississippi. The advantage here is that all these name-dropping songs were actually written in the places they check (as opposed to, say, Basildon) when Shev took himself off on a cape-trusting tour of songwriter’s nights, showcases and house concerts a couple of years ago. He’s roped in a gospel choir, a pedal steel (sadly no banjo) to evoke the sights, the sounds and yes, the smells, of a cross-country road trip involving just him, a guitar and a car. in the mean time, here’s a taster.