Canebreakers, “Still Lives” (Independent)

With its members now spread across the Pelican State, the Lake Charles–rooted Canebreakers didn’t have months to record a new album like it did for its auspicious debut Frame and Floor. So it did the next best thing: gather together and record these six tracks in two efficient sessions. It’s a very live, minimally overdubbed sound that’s a cross between folk and early Wilco-influenced alt-country. Having three songwriters in the fold is what makes the Canebreakers appealing since different personalities, writing styles and vocal inflections are showcased. A few tracks feel like alternating songwriters in the round accompanied by gentle, rolling fingerpicking and minimalist arrangements.

Road trip reflections are a recurring theme with mostly worries and regrets haunting the sojourning protagonist. Taylor Clements’ “Worry in Mind (Coyote)” is a fictionalized account of a French Quarter performer pondering about his life beyond the stage. While Clements wrote three songs and Jon Paul Zimmermann two, Mason Feduccia penned only one, the blockbuster “Pequot” about a Massachusetts Native American tribe being brutally slaughtered by colonists in the seventeenth century. Camryn Clements’ rumbly piano playing adds impact to this tragic tale of early North American ethnic cleansing.