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Johnny Cash

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Johnny Cash’s career stretched over 50 years, but he saved the best for last. In his final decade, the music he recorded with rock and rap producer Rick Rubin at the helm — the American Series — includes many of his best ...


Chatterton

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Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Chatterton’s first commercial release, a self-titled e.p., is testimony to that old adage right out the gate. The first track, “A Good Place to Start,” is exactly what it sa...



Chris Knight

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Music that listeners are supposed to take seriously often comes from obscure artists who write dark songs. While Chris Knight is critically praised, the general public wouldn’t know him from, say, Gary Nicholson.


David Kimbrough Jr.

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David Kimbrough Jr.’s mix of old-time blues soul sounds on Shell-Shocked undoubtedly reflects the influence of his father Junior Kimbrough’s hypnotic blues groove. The elder Kimbrough died in 1998 at the age of 67, spending...



Charlie Musselwhite

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Delta Hardware is hard-edged, harmonica-laced, electric blues from the bottom of Charlie Musselwhite’s roots (Mississippi Delta via Memphis and Chicago). Musselwhite, who recently settled in the Sonoma County wine country of ...


Sam Bush

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The difference between bluegrass and newgrass is kinda like the difference between rockabilly and early rock ’n’ roll: The latter, at its best, draws inspiration from a wider, more colorful palette. Co-founder of the New Gr...



Gram Parsons

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Fallen Angel, a documentary on singer-songwriter Gram Parsons, has an interesting angle: that the Southern man’s career goal was to die young and become a legend. This charismatic, troubled, self-assured, and self-indulgent r...


Man Factory, Sensitivity Boosters

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Grand Prairie quirk-pop darlings Man Factory have finally updated a few of their home recordings and dropped them onto this disc alongside some tunes from self-proclaimed “emo-rappers” Sensitivity Boosters.



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...