Greg Fleming‘s second outing with The Working Poor, and alongside the evident irony, the road-worn Auckland songsmith has perfected the art of what might be called working man’s blues rock. An edgy country-tinged blues rock, with a gruff lived-in vocal to both die for and rally behind. The sort of voice you might get if you crossed Dylan with Knopfler, or Petty, or Waits, or any combination thereof. Produced by the band’s drummer Wayne Bell, Fleming’s vocals sit atop beautifully crafted compositions and songs about things that matter. Songs about important things like bad politics, cruel cities, and matters of the heart – not necessarily in that order. Songs like Corporate Hill, Night Country Blues, the lovely piano ballad Autumn Auckland, and the intimate Heart’s A Wreck. But more than that, more than the voice, more than those lyrics, what really makes ‘Stranger in My Own Hometown’ work is the sense that each member of the six-piece band knows exactly what their job is, and as a unit they execute it to perfection. And you can’t really ask for much more than that.