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This one topped the list of Billboard Top Ten blues albums for four months shortly after its release. It's hard to say that it belonged there, not because it isn't a fine record, but because it's more rock than blues. Circle was produced by Texas singer/songwriter Doyle Bramhall, who is perhaps best known for his work with Stevie Ray Vaughan. It's a solid release, but don't expect anything fancy. In fact, many of the songs on Circle tend to sound very similar -- and it doesn't help that some segue into the next one seamlessly, which only serves to accentuate their sameness and add to the predictability. Mato Nanji is a flawless guitar player, but his prowess here is slightly dampened by the acoustic guitar that lies a layer beneath some of the songs, resulting in less punch. His voice, however, is magnificent: full and haunting, not unlike that of Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker.

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