Rebecca Riots

Gardener

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It's no surprise that this acoustic folk trio hails from Berkeley, CA. What is somewhat surprising is that this album, the female group's fourth, came out in 2000: It sounds more than a little like something out of the late '60s. Mingling love songs with treatises on everything from the military to gay rights to police brutality, the trio generally eschews metaphor in favor of straightforward statements like "No one wants to start a confrontation, but it doesn't help to simply walk away/Do we let them convince us that the only way is war?" At times, the approach is refreshing, at times tedious, but even when the lyrics miss their mark, the group draws strength from its indelible melodies and first-rate vocalizing. If you liked such outfits as Indigo Girls and, earlier, Joy of Cooking, this is worth a listen.

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