I’m partial to a slow-burning, Western narrative; songs like ‘Me And My Uncle’, ‘Romance In Durango’, and ‘Pancho & Lefty’. So is Jeff ‘The Horse’ Horsey; the much-travelled singer, guitarist, and song-writer currently based on the edge of Bodmin Moor. So much so that he’s written a few himself.

‘Rattlesnakes’, the lead track of this beautifully packaged 10” from Hookah Records, is such. A cinematic, mood-building tale of desert silences, deals going down, and treachery, stretching over almost ten minutes with gorgeous shards of guitar, organ underpinning, harmonica, and a splendid slide solo towards its conclusion.

Jeff was so happy with it that it became the springboard for an entire song cycle from which comes ‘Heartstrings’; the other Horsey original on this set. It sits between sweet covers of Dylan’s ‘I Want You’ and Noah Lewis’ ‘Big Railroad Blues’. The latter perhaps best known in the Dead’s reading – it was an early 70s live staple – on Skull & Roses.

Rattlesnakes And Heartstrings even aside from the musical content is a covetable artefact. The sleeve and label art are particularly fine examples of John Hurford’s always-fine work, and there’s a lovely illustration to ‘Heartstrings’, by Annie-Rose Foster on the inner sleeve, together with extended notes from Jeff.

Buy while you can direct from Hookah.

Hear more music from Jeff on his website.