Sweetheart of the Music Hall
One perk of songwriting is imagining your way out of everyday life. This New York-based roots rocker hangs with Romeo, Juliet, Heathcliff and Superman on the opening “New Mercedes” alone. Elsewhere Dunn gets mixed up in murder plots (“Adeline”), prepares for the reaper (“6 Black Horses”), and romanticizes the Lower East Side scene that nurtured his talent (“Sweetheart of the Music Hall”). Amid acoustic alt-country tunes and punkier numbers reminiscent of Counting Crows at their hardest and fastest, Dunn draws on the airy ’80s records Jeff Lynne produced for George Harrison, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison. In other words, he imagines himself a Traveling Wilbury—and makes that seem like it’s not such a stretch.