JOHN SOUTHWORTH Rose Milk Appalachia (Some Day I'll Be a Train) Rating: NNN
He's never been one to come up short in the ambition department. Somehow, Toronto singer/songwriter John Southworth's inexplicable decision to redo some of his grandiose art-pop songs from a bluegrass perspective makes complete sense. Backed by his Wild Poodle trio, he makes it through the four mandolin-driven songs on this EP without a yelp or yodel, and despite the frantic playing, the bluegrass arrangements actually straighten out Southworth's famously complex songs. Ralph Stanley will hardly be troubled, but the approach is inspired nonetheless. www.johnsouthworth.ca.