by John Tarpley
Maybe it's because I'm a devotee of the "chubby dudes with crushes, acoustic guitars and Asperger's, probably" school of music. Maybe it's because I'm a junkie for excavating hidden gems of music. Or maybe it's just because I'm a sucker for a good pop chorus. Either way, this Samuel Locke-Ward fella has caught my ear big time. A hyper-prolific home recorder not afraid of genre-hopping, he's been described as the songwriter that "is to Iowa City as Daniel Johnston is to Waller, Texas." Sweet and cherubic one song, potty-mouthed and sarcastic the next, all with a wide streak of Comic-Con frump, he's definitely "house show music," a left-field savant for the hungry-eared. And if your ears are like mine, he may be one of your favorite discoveries of the year, as well. Fans of R. Stevie Moore, Roy Wood, Calvin Johnson, The Mountain Goats, Daniel Johnston, et al: this guy's for you.
Check it out: "May I Lead You Astray" (live at The Replay Lounge, Lawrence, Kan.)