I first saw Matt Bauer at a tiny show in Portland, Maine a few years back. I spent most of the show as one big goosebump.

You needs to mic the living hell out of a singer like him, but that doesn't mean Bauer lacks boldness; the Brooklyn-based songwriter has a narrative that is sometimes daunting and others euphoric. It's a trademark that's spread all over his new album "The Jessamine County Book of the Living," out today. And bless him, this murmuring folkie's a mean banjo player too.

[More after the jump...]

Below is an outtake from his "Jessamine" sessions, a cover of Magnolia Electric Co.'s "Hammer Down" from "What Comes After the Blues," a record that coincidentally gives me the same sad fuel for fire that Bauer does.

Want more of "Jessamine?" Great, here's a video for "When I Was a Mockingbird" and a download of "Blacklight Horses." Oh, and hell, don't you just love this album cover from his last set?

Dude's on tour, go see him.

Matt Bauer, "Hammer Down"