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Thursday, April 01, 2010

April 1, 2010
Scott Foley

Sorta two of a kind: one virtually at the height of her popular acclaim, the other just releasing her third album, but making possible strides towards a similar notoriety. The former, Mary Gauthier, has issued The Foundling, a very personal story of her childhood as an orphan, an adopted girl, and a young woman seeking the story of her birth. The second, Chris Pureka, whose How I Learned To See In the Dark is one of the strongest releases of the year.

Gauthier's Foundling is receiving its debut airing over the tinny speakers of my laptop as I type. Seems a departure of sorts: new label, new producer in Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies), a more "open" sound. Pureka's album has already gotten its share of speaker time since it fell into my hands last week at this time. Like Gauthier, Pureka's songs are sparse and dark, while at the same time carefully, gradually luring listeners into the depths of lyric and arrangement. Both bring to mind one of my favorite albums, Ferron's tremendous Driver.

Also this week, the debut of a very good full-length Pieta Brown album, as well as something new from Otis Gibbs.

* Kelly Willis, "When My Baby's Beside Me" Big Star Small World (Koch, 06)
* Gordie Tentrees, "Mercy or Sin" Mercy or Sin (Self, 10)
* Steel Wheels, "HYMN for the Unsung" Red Wing (Self, 09)
* Coal Porters, "Permanent Twilight" Durango (Prima, 10)
* Pieta Brown, "Prayer of Roses" One and All (Red House, 10)
* Jayhawks, "What Led Me to This Town (live)" Live From the Women's Club Vol 2 (Self, 05)
* Jakob Dylan, "Everybody's Hurting" Women & Country EP (Sony, 10)
* AJ Downing & Buick 6, "Way Back Home" Way Back Home (Charkansas, 10)
* Slim Cessna's Auto Club, "Port Authority Band" Buried Behind the Barn (Alt Tentacles, 10)
* Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, "When He Comes" Medicine County (Transdreamer, 10)
* Eleven Hundred Springs, "Show Me the Money" This Crazy Life (Smith, 10)
* Otis Gibbs, "Joe Hill's Ashes" Joe Hill's Ashes (Wanamaker, 10)
* Asylum St Spankers, "Jesus Walking On the Water" (God's Favorite Band, 09)
* Micah Schnabel, "American Static" When the Stage Lights Go Dim (Suburban Home, 10)
* Sean Hayes, "One Day the River" Run Wolves Run (Self, 10)
* Walter Hyatt, "Deeper Than Love" Some Unfinished Business Vol 1 (King Tears, 08)
* Black Prairie, "Red Rocking Chair" Feast of the Hunters' Moon (Sugar Hill, 10)
* Drive-by Truckers, "Santa Fe" Big To-Do (ATO, 10)
* Jon Langford & His Sadies, "Looking Good For Radio" Mayors of the Moon (Bloodshot, 02)
* David Hidalgo and Louie Perez, "Till the Hands Fall Off the Clock" Long Goodbye (Gonzolandia, 10)
* She & Him, "Ridin' in My Car" Volume Two (Merge, 10)
* Rev Petyon's Big Damn Band, "WalMart Killed the Country Store" Whole Fam Damily (Side One, 08)
* Clem Snide, "WalMart Parking Lot" Meat of Life (429, 10)
* Chris Pureka, "Wrecking Ball" How I Learned to See in the Dark (Bad Rabbit, 10)
* Texas Sapphires, "Nashville Moon" As He Wanders (Ike, 10)
* Subdudes, "(You'll Be) Satisfied" Annunciation (Windham Hill, 94)
* Peter Wolf w/Neko Case, "Green Fields of Summer" Midnight Souvenirs (Verve, 10)
* Julie Miller, "Broken Things" Broken Things (Hightone, 99)
* Kasey Anderson, "Nowhere Nights" Nowhere Nights (Red River, 09)

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