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Darren H

New Multitudes

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When I signed into Spotify an hour ago, it recommended I give this new album a listed, and so far I'm digging it. As a big Varnaline fan, I'm especially happy to hear Anders Parker's noisy guitar playing on a few songs.

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When I signed into Spotify an hour ago, it recommended I give this new album a listed, and so far I'm digging it. As a big Varnaline fan, I'm especially happy to hear Anders Parker's noisy guitar playing on a few songs.

I'm enjoying this album as well.

Another new one, in a similar vein, that just came across my desk is Marvin Country, by Marvin Etzioni, out May 7th. Marvin was the guitarlist/mandolin picker for alt-country stalwarts Lone Justice in the '80s/'90s, and although his voice is very much an acquired taste, the list of guest stars makes this one very worthwhile. He enlists help from Maria McKee (naturally), Richard Thompson, Steve Earle, and Lucinda Williams, and the generous 2-CD set is evenly split between quirky Marvin originals and traditional country/bluegrass standards.

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I'm spinning this right now. (Well, streaming it on Rdio, more accurately.)

Great stuff so far. I'm a fan of most of the gang (James is the only one I'm not too hip on), so it's no surprise that Johnson and Farrar's songs are among my favorite. That said, even James's contributions are good. There's a nice volume mix here, too - for every folktastic moment, there's a guitar melting coda a tune later (like on Johnson's awesome "VD City").

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