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Alejandro Escovedo

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Now fully recovered from a near-fatal battle with hepatitis C three years ago, Alejandro Escovedo offers up The Boxing Mirror, an opus into which all of the longtime singer-songwriter’s recent travails and triumphs are viewed...


Johnny Dowd

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One of 2006’s most intriguing discs so far is Johnny Dowd’s Cruel Words, a combination of poetic lyrics and funky rhythms, with synths, organ, bass, and guitar. Even with the music, the performances — half spoken, half su...



Janiva Magness

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Janiva Magness has the blues. And judging by the low-cut black dress she’s wearing on the cover of her third full-length album, Do I Move You?, this voluptuous veteran with the Julia Roberts smile is as contagious as lust aro...


The New Amsterdams

Story Like a Scar (Vagrant Records)
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Before launching The New Amsterdams six years ago, Matt Pryor fronted the Get Up Kids, an almost-famous indie-rock manufacturer that recently shuttered its hometown Midwestern headquarters. The primary reason for the split: Tot...



Johnny Cash

Personal File (Columbia/Legacy)
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Johnny Cash sat at a microphone in his home studio with his guitar and sang these often sentimental, sometimes corny, always heartfelt songs into a tape machine, then filed them away — many of them more than 30 years ago. The...


Frankie Miller

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It seems every generation of country music fans goes through the same controversy about whether the “traditional” sound is being overtaken by pop music influences.