We gave it an A-
Known more for his contributions to Sheryl Crow’s debut and his ’80s David + David one-shot, Baerwald returns with an album that’s hardly folk. The music, all ear-friendly roots pop, dips into jaunty Americana, supper-club soul, and warm bluegrass; call it modern retro, like the music of his label mate Ryan Adams. Who else would subversively wed those styles to narratives about drunk-driving accidents and gutter-bound screwups? Plus, ”Hellbound Train” is the most exuberant apocalypse warning you’ll ever hear.