Concert preview: Junior Brown’s surprisingly topical new EP is steeped in country tropes

From the August 15, 2013 edition

Sonically, Junior Brown’s recent EP Volume Ten is steeped in the same classic country tropes that made Brown a legend of the genre. Lyrically, though, it’s surprisingly topical.

Lead track “Hang Up and Drive” decries distractions behind the wheel (hilarious aside: “That includes texting!”), followed by the full-scale generational warfare of “Apathy Waltz,” a sighing (and frankly accurate) diatribe against a culture desensitized by video games, multi-tabbed browsing and smartphone immersion.

Brown rocks his trademark guit-steel throughout, and on the jazzy closer “Almost to Tulsa,” he throws some piano in the mix for good measure. It suggests he’ll be in virtuoso form for Sunday’s show with openers Strung Up at Woodlands Tavern.