Ten Ton Man

Independent release, 2015

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Ten Ton Man is a trio of guys named Paul from New York City. Their gritty folk and Americana are driven by the deep, intriguing vocals of Paul Livornese, while Paul Dugan's moody upright bass sets a reflective atmosphere alongside Paul Triff's precise drumming. It's a sound we're all familiar with and have all embraced at one time (especially during times of personal strife), and comparisons to Johnny Cash, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen are easily drawn across these six carefully thought out songs.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Crazy Theory” leads off and sounds like a tune you'd hear emanating from a hole-in-the-wall bar where tumbleweeds blow across the parking lot. It's an arid, dusty opener with baritone vocals, harmonicas and almost blues-like guitars, as it's an introduction that leaves the listener wondering what could be next. The answer is “NSN,” a calm ballad that occasionally gets louder but always retreats to a warm, soothing lap steel. “That Man” complements the first two tunes and illustrates that Ten Ton Man can keep the diversity high with a horn presence before a darker, introspective feel that sounds like it was penned during late night mulling.

The second half of the EP stays soft and reflective with the light guitar work of “Morning Break (Up).” Subtle harmonicas help set a plaintive backdrop while Livornese repeatedly states “life keeps better since I left you,” which tell us that this isn't entirely a gloomy affair. “A Bone To Pick” follows and picks up the pace with horns and a fuller sound before the freewheelin' guitar picking of the Dylan-esque closer “Ashamed.”

Though there may only be six songs on this EP, when you take into account the tubas, trumpets, trombones and blues harps, among the other instruments on board, there's much to absorb. Where things don't vary much is Livornese's vocals, but hey, unless you're someone who needs to hear a four octave vocal range, this should not deter you from enjoying Ten Ton Man's version of Americana.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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