David Olney has been releasing albums for several decades now, acquiring an admirable reputation as an artist with a reverence for roots tradition along with contemporary credence. A compelling singer and songwriter, he’s adept at conveying hard luck tales flush with weathered rumination and ernest, uncompromising intent. With his latest release, This Side Or The Other, his turgid rumblings and gritty ballads are as ominous as ever, each an astute example of a style that effectively ploughs the rich top soil of arcane Americana music. These dark tales mostly find little light, and yet they have the power to draw the listener in and not let go. There’s no extraneous embellishment and few notes are wasted, yet both melody and message are always on point. Imagine an unholy alliance between Nick Cave and Kris Kristofferson draped in traditional trappings and it ought to provide some idea of what awaits. At any rate, it’s long past time that Olney got his due, and if justice prevails This Side or The Other will be the album that ensures that success.