Various Artists

No Electric Guitars

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This is a strong, rootsy collection of tunes, many with a distinctly alt-country sheen. The compilation is based on a great concept: Some top Philadelphia singer/songwriters were brought together to showcase their craft, with each also taking a crack at some cover songs. The motley crew of songwriters consists of Frank Brown (of power poppers Buzz Zeemer), Dave Bielanko (frontman for roots rockers Marah), Rich Kaufmann (the Rolling Hayseeds), Mike Brenner (John Train), and Gerry McGoldrick (Napalm Sunday and Emily Valentine). Highlights here include the countrified numbers "Out of Sorts" and "If I Were More Like You"; the Stonesy "Take My Place"; a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia," recast here as honky tonk; and a stirring take on Gene Clark's "Full Circle." The only real missteps are the grating hick-hop of "One True Love" and a pointless, acoustic rendering of the Beach Boys' instrumental "Pet Sounds."

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