Various Artists

Cities 97 Sampler: Live from Studio C, Vol. 26

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The popular unplugged Cities 97 series, recorded at KTCZ 97.1 FM in Minneapolis since 1989, contains 19 tracks from an array of artists from varying genres who are all equalized by their "unplugged" live performances. There are several repeat performances here -- Ingrid Michaelson with "Girls Chase Boys" and Stars on 45's "Crazy for You" -- have become series' mainstays. Phillip Phillips also offers "Gone, Gone, Gone" this time out, and Delta Rae deliver "Bottom of the River," which is a set highlight. Neon Trees and Eric Hutchinson also deliver return performances. Also here are British indie rockers the 1975 with "Chocolate" and Mary Lambert, whose piano-and-vocal "Secrets" rivals her hit version. The biggest surprise on the set is Aloe Blacc's rousing, urgent version of "Wake Me Up" that links him directly to the folk lineage of Lead Belly, Paul Robeson, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger.