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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #46 July-Aug 2003

Ed Pettersen

Two T's All E's (Split Rock)

Befitting its howdy-do title, this album is a get-acquainted session with Ed Pettersen, gathering tracks from his previous releases as well as new songs, and even several demos. It’s also quite the learning experience: while the title provides instructions for tackling Pettersen’s oft-misspelled last name, the collection’s contents serve as a primer for creating meat-and-two-sides roots rock — nothing haute cuisine-y, but plenty good for you just the same.

Pettersen’s work falls between the asphalt-heartland rock of his old pals the Del-Lords and the hybrid Americana of Dave Alvin; in other words, he’s the perfect candidate for one side of an ace twin bill with the Hangdogs. (And thanks to the years he spent in New York prior to a recent move to Nashville, it’s a pairing that probably took place a time or two.)

With two of his older compositions, the raved-up “DWIOU” and the slowed-down “Pray Morning Comes”, Pettersen shows he can do both light (“Don’t think and drive”) and heavy (“The soccer field is all but filled/With those of us who have been killed”). And when he peaks on “Deeper Waters” — all quicksilver guitar fills, can-I-get-a-witness keyboards, and soulguy vocals — Pettersen shows he’s capable of serving up the kind of stuff you’ll still be talking about months later.

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Originally Featured in Issue #46 July-Aug 2003

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