The Americana genre is crowded with artists stimulated by the Byrds, the Jayhawks or Gram Parsons. One singer-songwriter who has a firm touch with roots-oriented material is Johnny Irion, who gives us Ex Tempore, a song cycle based on family and life’s various stages.

Irion’s music, lyrics and lilting vocals recall ’70s California folk/rock, in particular Neil Young and related soft rockers. Young’s inspiration is felt strongly on “Take Care” and harmonica-laced country-rocker “1000 Miles an Hour,” which sound like After the Gold Rush outtakes.

Like Young, Irion layers in odd moments, which make Ex Tempore stand out from likeminded, acoustic-inclined releases. An example is piano-stirred ballad “Brush Yer Teeth Blues #56,” a lullaby designed to help Irion’s young daughter fall asleep. Ex Tempore is an easy record to enjoy, although Irion sometimes employs decades-old influences too self-consciously.

Grade: B

Ex Tempore is currently available.