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★★★★★

“Michelle Shocked's major label debut is an eclectic...”

Written on: 13/04/2008 by marsharupe (1 review written)

Good Points
Strong song writing influenced by folk and blues. Michelle Shocked has a wonderful sense of humour that shines through on many songs.

Bad Points
The original album has a hidden track -- a "punked up" version of "Fogtown." It seems out of place on this album. I preferred the original acoustic version found on "Texas Campfire Tapes."

General Comments
Michelle Shocked's major label debut is an eclectic collection informed by American roots music. Strong songwriting focuses on her memories of growing up in conservative East Texas ("Hello Hopeville"/"Memories of East Texas"/"(Making the Run to) Gladwater") and her sense of humor ("V.F.D"--about kids burning matches in a pasture). The album has many strong folk-influenced numbers -- such as "Black Widow" and a nice cover of "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore." An extended version of the album is a little more uneven -- but offers a strunning live acappella cover of Steve Goodman's song about a Vietman War widow titled "Penny Evans" and a tongue-in-cheek live song called "Yamboree Queen" that make this version worth looking for.