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Ray LaMontagne

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Ray LaMontagne was a critic’s favorite two years ago upon the release of his debut album, Trouble, a largely acoustic, bucolic paean to desperation and love. The singer-songwriter was aptly likened to a wide slew of ’60s an...


Slayer

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Since forming the early 1980s, Slayer has always been a big black cloud hovering over the music industry. Brutal and agile, precise and cold, bloodied but clean in conscience, the band hasn’t had to kowtow to commercialism to...



Jim Lauderdale

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Jim Lauderdale has been one of Nashville’s most respected songwriters for a long time, but the corporate brass never considered him much of a singer. Oh, sure, he’s performed for years and recorded for Warner Bros., Atlanti...


The Roots

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The Roots’ live prowess and artistic versatility have never been fully harnessed on any of the hip-hop band’s several studio albums. Taken together, the records are a chronology of an evolving, maturing group. Still, while ...



Various artists

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Kinky Friedman’s songs are known more for their titles than what the music sounds like. “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Get Your Biscuits In the Oven & Your Buns In The Bed” appear in article...


Confusatron

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Funk? Check. Jazz? Check. The kitchen sink? Check.



Nudity / Priestess

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There are basically two kinds of retro bands — ones that hew closely to the old school, and ones that occasionally flip the script.


Randy Rogers Band

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Every decade or so, a new regional renegade comes along to symbolize Texas Music’s swaggering side, a la Jerry Jeff Walker in the 1970s, Robert Earl Keen in the ’80s, and Pat Green in the ’90s. Who will we look back on an...



Sufjan Stevens

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Writing a definitive Sufjan Stevens review is almost as ambitious as Stevens’ intent to write, record, and release 50 albums themed after each U.S. state. So far, with Michigan and Illinois, the singer-songwriter and multi-in...


Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys

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Anybody who’s ever seen old black-and-white cartoons and paid any attention to the background music understands the joyous appeal of jazz swing, especially its fun, frenetic vibe. Made in the sophisticated American cities whe...