Since Michael Weston King's former band, the Good Sons, were playing alt-country in the UK before anyone there knew what it was, it makes sense that he'd be sharp enough to leave the sinking ship. So while the folks at Bloodshot puzzle over why the beer consumption at their SXSW party was not what it was the previous year, for the first time ever, King is out on the road performing troubadour-style the classic orch-pop, singer/songwriter and soul-inspired songs from his more grandly produced recent release, A New Kind Of Loneliness. It's not at all a drastic turn for King, whose work has always shown the inspiration of Tim Hardin, Phil Ochs and moustache-era Bobby Darin. In fact, much of what King puts down here was predicted by last year's very enjoyable Love's A Cover (Glitterhouse) disc collecting King's ace interpretations of tunes by Scott Walker, Candi Staton, the Stylistics, John Fogerty and Nick Cave. Connect the dots and you'll discover a stern-looking Birmingham chap with a delightfully dark sense of humour who plays for keeps.
King makes a rare appearance at Hugh's Room Friday (March 30).