Issue March 24, 2009

New York Town

Israel Nash Gripka
SELF-RELEASED

Alt-country is making me cynical. There may have been something unique and vibrant to start with, but we’ve ridden the cliché train too far to remember anything original. Israel Nash Gripka’s New York Town — aka “I’m from New York, not the Deep South. Also, have you seen my Dylan reference?” — is technically a fine record. It sounds like a long-lost Ryan Adams album. Gripka’s vocal delivery recalls classic and Southern rock. Basically, if John Fogerty singing Ryan Adams karaoke sounds appetizing, this record may be just the thing for you. Otherwise, maybe we should give this whole alt-country vibe a rest for a while. —Anthony Bowman