Listening Log 

12/1 - 12/7

Rusty Lemon

Rusty Lemon

(Young Avenue Records)

Recorded in part at Midtown's Young Avenue Sound and released on the studio's own label, this local debut is muscular, post-grunge hard rock with strong melodic undercurrents. Guitarist-vocalists Rusty Lemmon, Fred Wittber, and Scott Bartlett are supported by local scene vets Ross Rice (who also produced) on drums and Grayson Grant (of Big Ass Truck) on bass. Strong tracks such as "Better Than This" and "You'll Never Know" sound more than capable of following Nickelback and Creed onto rock radio, with considerably less histrionics. But the vaguely rootsy "Let You Go," the harder-edged "I'll Be the One," and the bluesy "Don't Talk to Me" prove this band can confidently head in any number of directions. ("You'll Never Know," "Let You Go," "Don't Talk to Me") -- Chris Herrington

Grade: B

7 Days in Memphis

Peter Gallagher

(Epic)

As actor vanity projects go, this musical debut from classic movie "that guy" turned The O.C. dad is less laughable (and less vain) than past examples from Bruce Willis and Eddie Murphy. Recorded at Ardent Studios in June, with Stax great Steve Cropper lending graceful guitar leads and modern-day Memphis horns providing punctuation, this is blue-eyed boomer soul, dipping into the Hayes-Porter catalog for three titles, but also throwing in some Lucinda Williams and Randy Newman. Peter Gallagher is convincing enough that you can easily imagine him holding his own in a touristy blues bar or, more likely, a hotel lounge. But why anyone needs to own this record is a mystery. Bumped up a notch for his brave refusal to include a rendition of "Walking in Memphis." -- CH

Grade: C+

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