CD Reviews for 03/19/09 – M. Ward, Dan Auerbach

Compact Capsules
by Dan Ferguson

M. Ward
Hold Time
Merge Records

Between producing, sideman duties and assorted side projects, Matt Ward (a.k.a. M. Ward) has been a busy dude the last few years. It explains the three year gap between solo platters. Hold Time is all about noodling on a 4-track and creating a cacophony of lo fi leaning sounds that have more to do with a love of things old than anything else. It’s also an album chock full of melody be it his trippy remake of Buddy Holly’s “Rave On” or the ultra-catchy, fuzzed-out “Never Had Nobody Like You” which reunites him with She & Him chum Zooey Deschanel. In between, there are hooks and crafty sounds galore to fill his groovy tunes. Visit

Dan Auerbach
Keep It Hid
Nonesuch Records 517241-2

Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach goes it alone for the first time on Keep It Hid. The album is a mix of the familiar and unfamiliar, as much psychedelia as it is soul with underpinnings of blues and country. Perhaps the biggest ear opener of Keep It Hid is how much more out in the open Auerbach’s singing is. His is a unique and old soul voice of another time and place totally in tune with the woodshedding demeanor of this take-notice solo debut. Visit

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6-9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)