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Brother Dege

Brother Dege

Scorched Earth Policy

(Independent)

Typically a mix tape is a grab bag of sounds, songs and artists. Always atypical, Brother Dege’s Scorched Earth Policy is pulled from only one artist—him—but lives up to the diverse aspect of the concept. Dege Legg took to the mix-tape idea to deliver his version of what summer sounds like by culling together new [...]

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Misled

Misled

Injection

(Independent)

This trio dropped a punk-rock debut on the local scene about a decade ago, then stepped back and translated their ethos into folk-rock around 2010 as Chris Rico and the Fill-Ins. Now they’re back to their old alter ago and Chris’s songs have survived the devolution without incident on their new EP, Injection. However, that [...]

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Kevin Clark & Tom McDermott

Smiles: Cornet/Piano duets in the New Orleans Style

(Independent)

Somewhere in both Tom McDermott and Kevin Clark’s early report cards, there must be comments that say, “Plays well with others.” Both musicians are known for their continuing and musically fruitful relationships: McDermott with Evan Christopher and Connie Jones, among others, and Clark with the New Orleans Nightcrawlers and the Dukes of Dixieland. This record [...]

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Ben E. Hunter

The Nature of Things

(Independent)

Acoustic albums, even reggae ones, don’t usually open with a swell of fake horns, strings and female vocals that make you think some vintage James Bond movie is coming on—but, then again, that’s Ben E. Hunter’s statement of purpose. He may paint his portraits with a few simple tools but his emotional canvas is large [...]

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Mahayla

Electricspaceagesweetheart

(Serial Lover Records)

All throughout this new record by the recently reconstituted Mahayla, there is an air of regret. David Fera’s first effort under the Mahayla name since the turn of the century is full of people living their “life like Kristy McNichol / an afterschool special in overdrive” or thinking “sorry, my friend / I should have [...]

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Jo-El Sonnier

The Legacy

(Takau Records)

Jo-El Sonnier wrote and recorded his first song “Tes Yeux Bleu,” now an immortal classic, as a precocious 11-year-old. Only now 57 years later, following an illustrious career as a Nashville recording artist/sideman and several Grammy-nominated traditional Cajun albums, does Sonnier deliver his first recording of all Cajun-French originals, 14 years in the making. Hence [...]

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Bonsoir, Catin

Light the Stars

(Valcour Records)

As evidenced by these seven songs written/co-written by Bonsoir, Catin’s Kristi Guillory, her writing isn’t confined to any particular style but roams from exhilarating dancehall and intestinal-ripping bluesy swamp pop to arty stuff that’s more suitable for listening, like the atmospheric ballad “Je vais jamais faire ça.” A couple of songs utilize a vibraphone for [...]

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The Revelers

The Revelers Play the Swamp Pop Classics Vol. I

(Independent)

On this four-track, vinyl-only EP, the Revelers maneuver through a diverse set of arrangements with an atypical swamp-pop arsenal that includes accordion and fiddle. A rollicking rendition of “Let the Good Times Roll” kicks off the proceedings and is sung in both English and French—just as Clifton Chenier used to do. But instead of being [...]

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Lee Benoit

Pour les Générations à Venir

(Bradley Records)

Lee Benoit’s Pour les Générations à Venir is not explicitly Cajun music for kids. He’s not the Cajun Raffi; instead, he presents a disc geared toward the next generation (and generation after that) of Cajuns. While utilizing three generations of his family (his young grandson does some baby-talking on a song), Benoit crafts a Cajun [...]

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Seth Walker

Sky Still Blue

(Royal Potato Family)

Guitarist and songwriter Seth Walker cultivates an ominous and sexy sound on his latest recording, Sky Still Blue. Bassists Steve Mackey and Chris Wood and drummer Derrek Philips keep a subtle groove going amid Jano Rix’s unassuming keyboard parts and in-the-pocket rhythm and lead guitars courtesy of Walker and producer Oliver Wood. Walker’s writing on [...]

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