Beaver Nelson has released four fine albums in five years after fighting for a decade to release his debut. Each one, from the loose and tuneful country and folk of The Last Hurrah to last year’s more polished Undisturbed, has revealed another aspect of his songwriting talent. Legends of the Super Heroes shows off his ability to nail a mood with a deceptively simple arrangement and sometimes beautiful, sometimes funny lyrics. Much of the album sounds as if it had been written as parables for his children. "Sleep (No Rest)" is about trying to help even when no one is paying attention. "Baloney Bay" and "Mile Markers" are fine pieces of whimsical nonsense, something that Nelson raises to an art form here. The former serves up lyrics reminiscent of Ogden Nash rather than the Texas tunesmiths in whose footsteps Nelson has followed: "The alligators all would wave/As we our best catches gave/I don’t care/There’s enough to spare/Just for the site." But whatever his disposition, Nelson is still on a roll.
(Beaver Nelson plays a songwriters’ circle with Adam Carroll, Scrappy Jud Newcomb, and Steve Poltz this Friday, November 1 at the Lizard Lounge; call 617-547-0759.)