Austin-based folkie Trent Judson is a collision between Burl Ives and Bob Dylan, if those two legends ever hit head-on. Based largely on personal experiences, Judson's new CD, "Cracks in the American Dream," delivers a soft, slap-in-the-face tingle behind material that offers stinging commentary on the seedier side of American society. For example, "It's Not a Cathedral" delves into the life of a prostitute at the end of her proverbial rope who makes a last attempt to save her soul through a church prayer.
I would have liked more instrumentation, but the sparsely adorned arrangements maintain a dark, although not overtly depressing, theme throughout "Cracks." Whether it is intentional or not, Judson manages to leave you just this side of that shaky threshold. He actually brings a smile to your face when you reflect on the repertoire, realizing that it's the truth, and nothing but.