(98 Pounder Records)
This album won't help Steve Poltz, playing at the Carleton July 7-9, rise above the already swollen ranks of singer-songwriters today. Like former Wallflower Jakob Dylan, Poltz is a dutiful soldier, whose service doesn't distinguish him one way or another. Traveling has the requisite sweet songs ("Stay Away A Little Closer," among others); the downtrodden ("Nickel"); the reflection on life ("Brief History of My Life"); and the war in Iraq tune ("Street Fighter's Face" follows the usual story arc). There's even a mention of moving from Nova Scotia to California as a kid, which gives Poltz as much connection to this province as Jakob Dylan has to dad Bob.