In winning the approval of T Bone Burnett and Greil Marcus, this LA quartet must be doing something right.
Burnett called them "genius musicians that are reinventing American heritage music for this century." while Marcus was swept up by the track The Right Stuff for its way of "carrying sadness and defiance like dust".
The band are named after the collection of photojournalism by Robert Frank, which was first published in 1958 with an introduction by Jack Kerouac. The songs on their hugely impressive debut album are miniature biographies and, like Frank's work, quintessential American portraits of a nation not entirely at ease with itself.
Leader Patrick Ferris looks the part as a modern-day James Dean and this is classic blue collar rock’n’roll with the traditional roots very much to the fore.
Two tracks (Last Chance and Long Way From Home) feature Alabama-based country folk duo The Secret Sisters on backing vocals although this doesn't detract from what is unapologetically male orientated music.
Americana doesn't come much purer and unadulterated than this but the album is no homely nostalgia trip.
The band's skill lies in making this old-style music sound urgent and contemporary.
The beats may echo the past but the feeling is solidly in the present tense.
The Americans' website