Rounder round-up, Edwards & McPherson

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Just getting around to Kathleen Edwards' latest - and I'm having hippie concert poster flashbacks - I can't even read the album title, so had to go to Wikipedia (who never lie and are always right) to decipher the handwriting only to find it's "Voyageur," whatever that means. Edwards is still on Rounder. Loved her earlier stuff and couldn't wait for this one - her fourth, but it took some getting used to. Pretty much didn't like this one at first, but Edwards can still sing and she does so on a bunch of sad girl songs, dangerously close to the dreaded we-have-to-talk moment. On "Mint" she reminds me of Kathleen Wilhoite (who is better than everybody) even though Edwards is the established rock star here. "Pink Champagne" will have the ladies crying extra about mistakes made in the form of that big lunk snoring on the couch who knows when his team is on but not how you feel.

From out of the time warp, it's J.D. McPherson and his new one, "Signs & Signifiers" and it's on Rounder, out since April, but it was really released in 2010. It may as well have been 1958 as McPherson has that retro sound figured out - perhaps he dozed off listening to Little Richard, Fats Domino and maybe even some Jackie Wilson. Just because you were not there does not mean that 1958 was uncool, unless you were Eddie Haskell or Lumpy Rutherford, in any case, it's so old it's new for 2012. McPherson is a gearhead greaser Sooner channeling the good stuff from a couple of Hall of Famers plus he's got the voice, the jangling guitars, the pianos and the attitude, making this one of the best albums of 2012. If it were the '50s, McPherson would be like a sock hop god - for now, he'll assimilate the Chris Isaak fans'.

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Rockin' Roll Call
Bill Locey reviews music for the Ventura County Star, when he isn't reenacting the history of this great nation or teaching it to incarcerated youth.
He is the tall guy lurking in the back of all the local rock shows.
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