I'm fond of using the word 'troubadour' when it applies - not that I do it often. It's a useful word because it contains so much: the notion of, usually, a man who can tell a story in song and carry people along with him so well that those people almost seem bewitched. It's a great example of how beautifully useful language can be: one word to convey all that. 'Troubadour' isn't usually associated with someone who has rock 'n' roll sensibility but there's no reason it couldn't be. In Westmoreland's case, it fits.
Westmoreland's experience shows in the fact that these songs sound like they have been written carefully without being overworked, and he sings them as if he's had time to let them mature for a while until he understands exactly how they need to be conveyed. There's dirt under the fingernails of these songs, either because they've hauled themselves up from underneath or because they've dug for their own roots. They're sturdy, and while there's darkness in them, there's also a fair bit of reaching for the sun.
This album will carry you along with it, and bewitch you a bit too, so the next time this troubadour comes to town, you'll no doubt welcome his arrival.
Chuck Westmoreland is out now.