Just as a new figure of hope arrives in the mansion on the hill, along comes a young songwriter who’s tapped into the red clay dirt of a new depression America. The biggest surprise is that he’s done it gently with songs of poetry, harmony and sweetness and the honeyed, craggy voice of the classic American country singer. Like Neil Young and The Band before him, Paisley’s perspective is that of the Canadian outsider, seeing America anew whilst being fully immersed in its history and myths. Like The Band he re-presents American music history without the trappings of fashion and, like the Young of After The Goldrush uses his outsider status to ruminate on America’s fate. For this age of information overload Paisley’s biog is refreshingly scant. He’s toured with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, working with Toronto-based visual artist Shary Boyle as Dark Hand And Lamplight, where he picks his way through songs of sad sinners while Boyle projects hand-drawn images of Pilgrim fathers entwined in rose and briar.