As a prolific, well-liked songwriter and fixture of Boise’s Americana scene — think Pengilly’s Saloon — Bill Coffey has lots of talented friends. His album credits read like a local-musician who’s who: Familiar players such as Thomas Paul and Dave Manion are among his six-member Cash Money Cousins backing band. Curtis Stigers blasts sax on a track. The Tonic Room handles recording duties.
The sonic richness of the instrumentation sparkles from the start. Mandolin, acoustic guitar and pedal steel quietly swell on “Graveyard Hill,” setting the stage for Coffey’s everyman voice.
Coffey has a penchant for rootsy music and rustic subject matter. But he’s more compelling delivering an easygoing groove-rocker such as “Nobody Cares” — on which he channels a trace of Tom Petty and, for a second or two, Mick Jagger — or the upbeat dysfunctional-lover ditty, “Maybe Never.” The latter showcases his gift for conversational wordplay, as does “The Man I’m Not,” a country-laced track just waiting to be commercialized and corrupted by somebody rich in Nashville.
Coffey has made a record that should please his fans, even if it’s occasionally hard not to let your attention wander during old-timey moments such as “Old Town Bank & Trust.” When he plugs in and lets it rip — like during “A Girl in Southern Utah,” which needs to covered immediately by Reckless Kelly — the guy is hard to ignore.