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Watermelon Slim & the Workers

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Watermelon Slim is an ex-reporter, ex-sanitation truck driver, ex-lots-of-jobs bluesman and Vietnam vet who quit the “real world” after a heart attack in 2002 to play the blues all the time.


Anjani

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“There’s perfume burning in the air / Bits of beauty everywhere,” sings jazz pianist-vocalist Anjani on the opener to Blue Alert, her third album. “Shrapnel flying / Soldier hit the dirt / She comes so close, you feel h...



Oliver Future

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Oliver Future maybe may be the hardest-working unsigned band around. They’ve committed themselves to the stage, the road, and the studio as ferociously as groups and performers with 10 times the budget and resources.


Various artists Duets: A Prairie Home Companion

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Prairie Home Companion is such a good radio show that you’d expect songs from the show to be special too. But the choices on Duets: A Prairie Home Companion and When I Get Home — Songs are, as a whole, ordinary. Recorded di...



John Denver

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John Denver was a consistently — some would say mercilessly — sweet and upbeat-sounding performer, even on his sad songs.


Modest Mouse

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Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock is probably the most unassuming hero in modern rock, an idea he wouldn’t scoff at but would more than likely shrug off in silent bewilderment.



The Broken West

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Somewhere in the atom-splitting genre distinctions that music critics like to confer, it got lost that pop can be punk and punk can be exuberant.


Chris Knight

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Songs pour from Chris Knight like good whiskey from a bottle. He’s an independent-spirited chronicler of existential life in American small towns where there’s little to do and less to do it with.



Son Volt

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With anger over the war in Iraq escalating and next year’s presidential election looming, there seems to be a lot of politically charged music coming out, though it could just be the enormous presence of the new Arcade Fire a...


Dolly Parton

Coat of Many Colors; My Tennessee Mountain Home; Jolene (RCA Nashville/Legacy)
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One of a dozen children from a poor family in rural eastern Tennessee, Dolly Parton left for Nashville the day after she graduated from high school.