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Falling somewhere between James Taylor, John Denver and Paul Simon on the singer-songwriter spectrum, central California mountain dweller Brett Dennen aces the acousticy clean, folksy pop song style. But his most recent extended play release sees him stretching into the more retro poprock field with “Here’s Looking at You, Kid.” The track has the feel of a great big song, a classic potential group sing-along with a beat so open even most clap-incapable can get it right. The roll out and beat is very Sonny and Cher circa 1965, with a bright guitar lead line that threads through the song, coming back at regular intervals. I can’t make up my mind whether the track is more Ben Kweller or Dusty Springfield. Vocally and song structure-wise it’s very Ben while the guitar timbre is so Dusty. The acoustic rendering of the tune really brings out the melodic lead guitar line too. I could imagine a faster version that would push the song more into the power pop genre but Dennen’s pace is A-OK too, a nice and easy, in no hurry delight of a single.

Here’s Looking at You, Kid
Here’s Looking at You, Kid (acoustic)

Besides easy rocking the guitar troubadour thing, Dennen is also a talented water colour painter. Check out his art, music, and seemingly constant series of online shows from his website and Facebook and Bandcamp pages.