Distance and Fortune

Rolling Stones comparisons were all the rage when it came to write-ups of Central Texas’s gone-too-soon Dedringers, and the same has held true for reviews of everything the ’Ringers two young frontmen, Jonny Burke and Sean Faires (now of the Happen-ins) have done since the band’s split. In Burke’s case, the names “Townes” and “Dylan” can also be counted on for cameo or two. So let’s just get this right out of the way: Yes, you can hear more of all of that on Distance and Fortune, Burke’s full-length solo debut (following his 2009 EP, The Long Haul). In fact, sometimes, you wonder if he’s not just planting Easter eggs for influence spotters: On the rip-snortin’ rocker “Cracka Jack,” you can practically hear him grinning from ear to ear as he sings, “He never was long for this world/He had a needle for a shield and a spiel for the girls/He’d steal for his stuff and he’d share it with me/He said ‘A friend in need, come on and let it bleed.’”) Meanwhile, standouts like “Into the Autumn” and “Little Girl of the World” spotlight his more reflective side — and a voice as laid-back and pleasing on the ears as the Jayhawks’ Mark Olson. In fact, as impressive as Burke’s writing (and rocking) is throughout this Marc Ford (Ryan Bingham, Black Crowes) produced set, it’s his voice that’s the ultimate charmer. For proof, check out “Human Music,” the utterly beguiling Soft Boys cover that sneaks in right near the end and steals the show. — RICHARD SKANSE