NQ Arbuckle is the lonesome stranger who saunters into town with a hip flask and a pack of Lucky Strikes in his back pocket. Not even the dude playing pool at the back of the bar, he's the character watching from the sidelines, taking mental notes through a haze of smoke while the butts collect in the ashtray by his elbow, tracing broken hearts in the rings left by his bottle of Bud. His debut disc, produced by fellow lone rider Luke Doucet, has in-your-face intimacy and great, gritty authenticity. With a posse of fabulous guests like Sarah Slean and honky-tonk cowgirl Carolyn Mark flirting with his rough-around-the-edges growl, NQ's countrified tunes float like a butterfly but sting like a bee. Arbuckle launches Hanging The Battle-Scarred Piñata at the Rivoli Saturday (November 2).