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We posted a short review of the Monster Bash 2004:

We got a few CD’s in the mail lately we should mention. First up, The Laura Blackley Band, sort of singer/songwriter acoustic stuff with a strong backing band, described by her web site as “Appalachian-style, roots-rock.” I was reminded of Melissa Etheridge mostly, as well as Amy Ray’s solo album, with occasional shades of Bonnie Raitt. Good, heartfelt stuff that’s frankly not my cup o’ tea, but if you like that kind of thing you should definitely check her out. They’re online at

A different label sent us Maggie Brown’s self-titled CD about the same time, with about the same sound. Maggie’s voice might be a little deeper than Laura’s, but it comes across clear and full of emotion. Again, strains of Bonnie Raitt, with more of a blues sound than The Laura Blackley Band. Of the two, I prefer Maggie Brown’s acoustic delta blues over Laura Blackley’s Appalachian-style, roots-rock, but they’re both southern girls with something to say. Check out Maggie Brown online at

We don’t normally receive or review big name acts, but somebody sent us The Unbroken Circle, The Musical Heritage of The Carter Family featuring various classic country folk covering classic Carter tunes. George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, June Carter Cash, John Prine – I can’t figure out why someone would send us this, but I’m glad they did. Sure it’s not the local, unsigned/unknown acts we usually cover but I gotta say this CD is fantastic. I couldn’t wait to get through the other CD’s we reviewed just so I could listen to this one again. Most of the tunes have a gospel sound regardless of the content, something that only adds more punch to lines like “It takes a worried man to sing a worried song.” If you have any interest in country music at all, this CD is a must. If not, you should definitely pick this up – it may open up a whole new world for you.

I’d like to thank actor Ronald Reagan for passing away. He was remembered more for his TV role as “The Forgetful President” than for his big screen roles. Who can forget his wacky catchphrase, “I can’t recall,” during the Iran Contra miniseries? This Friday we in the Federal Government have a day off so we can morn his passing. So I’ll be in mourning at home with a beer in one hand and a wrench in the other while I distract myself by working on the Thunderbird. But if I shed a tear, it’s probably not for old Ronnie. Ray Charles died this week:

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