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Album Review: Pieta Brown — ‘Freeway’

The press material for Pieta Brown’s new album, Freeway, quotes guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker asking, “what kind of music IS this? Prairie gaze?!” The question, while humorous, touches on the sonic explorations of the sessions that make up her eighth album. For her first album on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe label, Brown returned to Justin […]

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Album Review: DICKIE — ‘Minus Thieves’

If various comic book universes have taught us anything, it’s that every hero needs an origin story. For DICKIE, that was their 2015 self-titled release—a concept album summarizing songwriter and vocalist Dick Prall’s life to that point. Returning like Superman from the Fortress of Solitude, Prall has reconvened DICKIE with a different lineup […]

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Album Review: The Diplomats of Solid Sound — ‘A Higher Place’

The Diplomats of Solid Sound are back with a new slab of soul! The line-up has changed a little since 2010’s fantastic What Goes Around Comes Around, but the core of the band is still Doug Roberson on guitar; Nate “Count” Basinger, who flew up from Austin to provide his signature Hammond B3 and piano; and Eddie McKinley on sax. […]

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Album Review: Blake Shaw — ‘it happened.’

There is a long-standing tradition in jazz of performing pop standards, and those songs became kind of a lingua franca for jazz musicians. Iowa City jazz bassist and vocalist Blake Shaw — whose latest album, it happened., is a collection of standards — explained the tradition […]

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Album Review: Brother Trucker — 5

Des Moines band Brother Trucker is an honest-to-goodness Iowa institution. Since 2000, the band has toured extensively, bringing their roots rock and country to avid fans in bars throughout the Midwest. Their Iowa pedigree was established when they signed on as one of the original bands on Dave Zollo’s seminal Trailer Records, where they released […]

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Album Review: David Huckfelt — Stranger Angels

David Huckfelt took advantage of a break in touring with the Pines to become the artist-in-residence at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. The writing he did in solitude there formed the basis for his first solo album, Stranger Angels. The close proximity of nature during Huckfelt’s residency informs the record. The first single, and […]

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Album Review: Holy White Hounds — Say It With Your Mouth

Holy White Hounds Say It With Your Mouth www.holywhitehounds.com Des Moines band Holy White Hounds are back with their second album. Say It With Your Mouth picks up where their 2016 album, Sparkle Sparkle, left off. Producer Brandon Darner, who produced that first record, is back at the helm as producer. Darner’s ability to make […]

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