There aren't any tricks here, no production wizardry, it's plain instruments, voices and basic recording, sounding ever so '70's. Coull's not channeling any one performer, he's channeling lots of them, all good ones, a bit of Elton here, some Stones there. The piano leads, but it's surrounded by gospel singers, trumpets, strings, big guitar solos, and that's just on "The Troubadour Returns", an epic at 7'56". "I'm Fine ('Cause The Girl Is Mine)" is a big ol' Bo Diddley beat mixed with a pop tune, something fun. "I Left My Baby Grand In New Orleans" is the song Billy Joel always wished he was good enough to write.
And the words, so many, these are stories that unfold over several verses, complex, rich, and marvelous to hear. He gives us full descriptions of his characters and all the places he visits, from calloused hands placed inside hair, to the stink of the swamp and empty beers in New Orleans. It's going to take me a few more listens to figure them all out, but it's all part of the journey he's on, and goodness me, it's an adventure for sure.