Temperance & the Devil
In 'Temperance & The Devil,' Brian Molnar & the Naked Hearts tap sonic traditions of the Americana genre that have been around almost as long as temperance has been a movement to dry up the nation and the devil has been a hooved fiend looking to steal men's souls. While the sound of this album alone is enough to make it a record in the best tradition of alternative country and folk music, to stop there would be to miss the hidden layers of Molnar's craft, just as stopping with this understanding of the title would shortchange his intent. The tarot reader knows the deeper meaning attached to the Temperance and Devil cards (the fourteenth and fifteenth Trump cards of the tarot deck): Temperance is a balancing of the forces of life and the Devil a representation of the life-energy inside of us-evil only through our own misunderstanding and misuse of it. Booze and hell-fire aren't the tarot reader's concern, nor are they Molnar's. Like the angel on the Temperance card, Molnar and this album have one foot on the solid ground of today's alt-country sound and the other in the timeless stream of the unconscious where few but the great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson have dared tread. By dipping into that stream and lyrically exploring the balancing act of life, Molnar plants himself firmly in the chains of influence those great songwriter's have wrought. Following up on the AMA charting and critical success of 2007's 'Feelin' Out of Time,' 'Temperance and The Devil' includes cameo appearances from two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bernie Worrel and Top-Ten AMA artists Yarn, balancing the future with the past and continuing the evolutionary chain of Americana music.