Catawba City is the debut release by the Bill Noonan Band. Noonan is the former leader of the Rank Outsiders, early pioneers on the North Carolina Americana scene who achieved national chart success in the late 1990s. Catawba City delivers a fully realized musical vision that reflects Noonan's coming of age as a writer and performer, and his easy comfort with bedrock Americana styles. Noonan dubs his brand of Americana "Carolina roots rock," and both the music and lyrical content clearly stake his claim as purveyor of an authentic and original sound rich in regional themes and colors. The songs on Catawba City range from insightful country ballads to full tilt rockers, painting a picture of the changing face of the rural Southeast, and tracing trails of personal wins and losses, trials and triumphs. The record's production couches these tales in tasty layers of acoustic and electric guitars, with touches of fiddle and Cajun accordion, and the band displays solid musical chops throughout. Superb steel and slide guitar work provide credible C&W and southern rock allusions, while the mysterious "She Only Comes Around When the Moon Is Full" is haunted by the spirits of Neil Young and Roy Orbison. Any of the CD's 12 cuts invite intriguing comparison while evading easy categorization, leaving one to wonder where the road might lead for the Bill Noonan Band beyond Catawba City.