On fourth longplayer, Speaking in Cursive, Ohio alt-country/roots rockers Two Cow Garage fuse bar band romps, amped up acoustics and Micah Schnabel’s literate blue-collar observations. Schnabel sings about downtrodden characters with a whiskey-gargled voice hoarse as Tom Waits and weathered as Keith Richards, with appropriate backup from a rough and tumble group that at times sounds like the Drive-By Truckers sparring with Crazy Horse.

Schnabel and the band succeed in evoking previous decades while rarely inducing nostalgia. Highlights include brisk “Bastards and Bridesmaids,” concerning small people with big attitudes; power-poppy “Skinny Legged Girl”; and slow-burning “Sadie Mae.”

Basically, Two Cow Garage is a quintet of down-to-earth guys who understand there are times that call for a shot of Wild Turkey and a Camel Light.

Grade: B

Speaking in Cursive is currently available.