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  • STEVE EARLE AND THE DEL MCCOURY BAND: THE MOUNTAIN: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A great bluegrass album backed by one of the best bluegrass outfits out there. The partnership didn’t survive the tour though. Steve’s swearing upset Del- remember friends there’s no room for vulgarity in bluegrass.  Harlan Man and The Mountain are the two best songs on this album- fantastic. Other favorites- Dixieland, Pilgrim,  Texas Eagle, The Graveyard Shift. I liked Steve doing bluegrass-wish he’d return to it for at least one more album.



  • VAN MORRISON: KEEP IT SIMPLE: 2008: 4 1/2  STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A hodgepodge of musical styles here- all that Van has been influenced by during his long career. The first Van album of all new material since 1999.  Van would say he felt like he had something to say with these songs. The critics like it and it went to #10 in both the US and UK.

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  • BOB DYLAN: MODERN TIMES: 2006: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Dylan’s third excellent album in a row since his comeback in the late 90’s. The momentum was gaining- it was his first #1 album in the US since Desire thirty years earlier. I wonder how Dylan would be viewed today without his later life comeback? Obviously a legendary figure- but it seems to me he reached even greater heights as far as his legacy- after his serious health scare and artistic comeback.