Crooner country

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I have this perception of Paul Hayden Desser as a sensitive guy with an acoustic guitar, but the Canadian singer-songwriter's catalog is much more eclectic than I'm giving him credit for. Even his relatively somber new In Field and Town is a voyage through a rolling landscape of acoustic guitar, piano, synthesizers and more. The multi-textured sound fits Hayden's autumnal ballads like a snug mixed-fiber sweater on a brisk Ontario afternoon.

Striking a pleasant balance between Van Morrison's zealous wail and Leonard Cohen's understated croon, Hayden is the ideal troubadour for the iPod generation. He's classy enough to earn the respect of his elders but not too stodgy to sound out of place in an episode of Gossip Girl. And his stop at Rumba Cafe Tuesday promises to be a rewarding night of music, beginning with a set from soft-spoken local songwriter Eric Metronome.