Hot on the heels of last year's Kansawyer, songwriter W.C. Beck already has a new album, and it's one he's been working on for three years. Sapling, which celebrates its release tonight, tones down the country twang of Kansawyer in favor of a more freewheeling, widescreen version of Americana. It's a subdued record but a stirring one, featuring a plethora of local talent including guitarist Nate Clark, pedal steel/bass player Jesse Bates, and Sean and Ryan Spellman of Quiet Life, among others. But the real star is Beck's casual but emotive songwriting, mining the emotional depths of balladry without a trace of schmaltz. It's the kind of record that's perfectly suited for the two seasons we get here: cold and cloudy damp, and daisy-fresh sunshine. Beck, a journeyman musician who's done time in countless local bands, obviously has his own strengths to display—further evidenced by his songwriting contribution to Jackstraw's most recent record—and Sapling is his clearest, most moving work to date.