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Really enjoying this on first listen. My first impression is to put it in the same company as Modern Times and maybe even Love and Theft but I wouldn't rate it quite as high as Time Out of Mind. His last effort, Together Through Life doesn't really figure into it, at least not for me. I don't think it was a terrible album by any stretch, I just wasn't nearly as impressed with it as I have been by Dylan's other latter day efforts. As for the 14 minute title track to the new one, I found that a bit trying to listen to but perhaps it will grow on me during subsequent listens. On a related note, I'm not sure if anyone else here has read the new interview Mikal Gilmore did with Dylan for the newest issue of Rolling Stone but so far it appears to have just as many twists and turns as his new record.


I'm also only one listen into the newest outing from Chris Knight but so far it's revealing itself to be one of his strongest efforts, right up there with Enough Rope, probably my favorite of his more recent albums. Also, for fans of John Prine, I think folks will be very pleasantly surprised by his star turn on the title track. Chris Knight is one of those artists that get pegged as alt.country but who is also accessible enough to get played on mainstream country music radio. For whatever reason, that level of acceptance has yet to happen for him and I'm not sure at this point if it ever will. In the meantime, he remains to be one of the very finest singer/songwriters out there albeit one that's still remaining on the fringes. What initially brought him to my attention was his Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites) produced record A Pretty Good Guy from back in 2001. Maybe the presence of John Prine on this one will work a similar sort of magic for Knight's brand of rough hewn country music.


Kelly Hogan has long been on my radar but for whatever reason, it's taken this long for me to finally pick up one of her records. I'm still making my way through it but the first thing to come to mind while listening to I Like To Keep Myself In Pain is just how well she personifies the definition of "country soul". Some may know Kelly as the vocal foil to Neko Case, or as a member of the seminal Jody Grind (who met an untimely demise after two of it's members were killed in a car crash back in the 90's), a mainstay of the Bloodshot Records stable of artists via albums such as Beneath the Country Underdog or as one of the back up vocalists on the Drive-By Truckers breakthrough album Southern Rock Opera from back in 2001. I've come to know her as one of the very finest and most expressive female vocalists out there. Unfortunately all these years later she's still flying beneath the radar. Hopefully this album will help do something to change all of that. She's certainly more than deserving of the recognition and has surely paid her dues.

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I have been listening to Christmas music. ( :huh: I know..) I love the songs off of Home Alone (the first one). I think they are the best. It's a little early I reckon but, it's really not that far away.

I love Christmas as far as the getting together with family part goes. In that sense, I wish it was more like Thanksgiving. Not that I mind giving or receiving gifts but far too much emphasis is put on the commercial aspects of Christmas. With the popularity of Halloween now nearly surpassing that of Christmas poor ol' Thanksgiving tends to get left out in the lurch, at least by the consumer obsessed mass media.

I now return you to our regular programming...

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