While there have been quite a few artists that have conjured up the kind of private press aura that drapes some of the best ‘70s releases, very few seem to be doing it with the effortless grace of Lee Baggett. The songwriter might have popped into your conciseness as an on again/off again member of Little Wings, playing guitar alongside Kyle Field on a number of records over the years. He’s released some solo records under the winking moniker Lee Gull as self-released digital runs and lathe cuts on People In A Position To Know, but this marks his first true full length under his given name. What transpires is an album of sun-soaked West Coast strummers, warble-fried folk-pop, and boardwalk-buskin’ chooglers that feel like just the haze we weary heads need right now.
There’s a bleary-eyed charm to Just A Minute. The record creeps in with a few shut-in shivers, finding its bearings in the head-swum swoons of “Hunter Moon,” and on the title track, but Baggett shines when he starts to let the sundown swagger enter the record, filling out the warm air with the firelight stomp of “Fast Asleep” and “Backroads,” both of which start to lap at the salt lick shimmy of Cosmic Americana, throwing this one into the ring as a proper Mountan Bus descendent in some places, John Wonderling and Danny Graham in others. For a more modern feel, there’s some Kurt Vile recline on the opener, and its not a bad comparison on the whole, though Baggett runs his dry ice blues through a layer or two of four-track fizz, perfecting the lost press vibes that make this one feel lost to time.
As I mentioned, its a hard rut to run, and aside from recent stunners from Dylan Moon or Rose City Band, the tack can come off as a gimmick in the wrong hands. Baggett joins those others as one who can pack up the tax shelter sound and make it his own, creating a gem of a record that hopefully won’t take 30 years to become a sleeper hit among the kind of collectors who seek out pop without pretense.
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