On his long-form debut, To the Pouring Rain, raspy and rough-toned Seth Augustus combines the restless spirit of beat icon Jack Kerouac, Captain Beefheart’s avant-garde lyrical structure and Tom Waits’ marinated sensibility. The nine songs swirl with an earthy, DIY blues template that morphs craggy acoustic and boozy electric blues with eerie vocal and instrumental touches borrowed from Asiatic Tuvan musicianship.

The subject matter is cryptic at best: During the title track, Augustus gurgles about painting a picture in a muddy puddle and on jazzy jaunt “Big Cocoon” – where Tuvan fiddle swerves alongside soulful sax – he creates strange romantic interludes. Meanwhile, within acoustically inclined “Convolution Blues,” Augustus croak-sings about the metaphysics of existence, and then unfurls a David Lynch-like penchant during ghostly “Tiny Little Head.”

It’s not often someone evolves a venerable genre, but with To the Pouring Rain Seth Augustus widens the basic blues blueprint and designs a disjointed display of musical imagination.