At first glance, Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers' Almost There appears steeped in the tradition of the narrative song—and framed through the lens typical of that tradition. But upon further inspection you’ll notice an immediacy and relevance to the contemporary human experience that often escapes our brethren who utilize the same framework. Where that utility meets the stories within, you’ll find a deft commentary that we might all observe: a call to be ornery but sympathetic—cautionary but optimistic. Every bit personal as expansive, Rodgers has identified, perhaps, what are noteworthy signposts along the way. Ones we would all be well-served to pay heed. —Kenneth Pattengale