When Arthur Dodge packed up his guitar case and headed to Nashville in 2001, many doubted that he'd ever return. A local fixture even prior to his 1997 eponymous debut with the Horsefeathers, Dodge already had proven himself on the regional circuit and eventually came to the same conclusion as many area critics -- that he was just too good for his own good. But all roads lead home again, and although Dodge's Tennessee two-step was briefer than he maybe would have liked, Room #4 is a reminder of how good it is to have him around. With a voice that mixes deep, Dylan undertones with a twist of Randy Newman earnestness and a healthy shot (or five) of rotgut whiskey, Dodge and songwriting partner Mark Mozier have crafted twelve tracks that hit on all the themes that make a hard life survivable. Centered on loss, longing, redemption and more loss, Room #4 cuts a wide swath through a scarred emotional landscape painted with hauntingly familiar hues. Dodge tends to wear his influences (early Crazy Horse-era Neil Young, early-'70s Byrds and current Wilco) openly, but there's still plenty in this fourth foray from Dodge and the Horsefeathers that is unique. It's also one of the strongest statements made by a Kansas City songwriter in years.