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Beth Bombara, Bobby Rush and Blanck Mass with the new and noteworthy 

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Beth Bombara, Evergreen (Lemp Electric) – Since this is the sixth album from Grand Rapids-to-St. Louis troubadour Beth Bombara, it seems impossible that a woman with such focused lyricism and a hook-filled, punky country delivery could dwell in relative obscurity. While one would hesitate to declare “breakthrough album” before the fact, songs like “Criminal Tongue,” “I Only Cry When I’m Alone” and the title track are the type to be savored over and over again.

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Bobby Rush, Sitting on Top of the Blues (Deep Rush Records/Thirty Tigers) – Not too many stars of the 20th-century blues revival are still firing on all cylinders, but Bobby Rush, at age 86, continues to tour actively. For his first album since the Grammy-winning 2016 album Porcupine Meat, Rush assembles 11 original and obscure blues songs, with an emphasis on some serious humor. While Vasti Johnson plays a key role on guitar, engineering and co-production, Rush takes center stage with the omnipresent wailing blues harp, and with a voice sounding stronger in 2019 than Howlin’ Wolf’s in 1969.

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Blanck Mass
, Animated Violence Mild (Sacred Bones) – This is the fourth solo album of Benjamin John Power of the duo Fuck Buttons, and since an earlier solo track was used in the 2012 Olympics, one could argue Blanck Mass is becoming the larger project. This release sounds experimental, exuberant, mainstream and bound for the dance floor, all at once.

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