For anyone following the folk/roots scene in Toronto, the serene work of Justin Rutledge is no secret, but it’s easy to forget just how engaging and talented this gentle singer/songwriter is, especially when he only releases a new album every two years. His latest, Man Descending, is similar to his prior release, The Devil On A Bench InStanley Park – there are no over-the-top moments or out-of-control twang. It’s just soft, subtle acoustics, subdued drums and mellifluous slide guitar.
Opener St. Peter, with its infectious country folk hooks and lush harmonies, sets the tone for the entire record, but the hushed vocals in This Too Shall Pass make this track a standout. Let’s hope this album’s playability lasts, because it’ll be a while until Rutledge puts out another record.
Justin Rutledge joins Kathleen Edwards at the Phoenix April 23.