Booker Lee

Journal

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There was a glut of alt country bands a while back, a lot of them decent. But like other underground crazes, now that the revival that meant to save us from Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, etc. has receded slightly, many groups remaining are in it because they genuinely love it. Case in point, this Gettysburg, PA (a place that knows heartbreak) foursome debuting here. You may have pleasant memories of the Long Ryders listening to Journal, in the best countrified jangle-rock way. Like that group's Sid Griffin, they seem to venerate Gram Parsons, as "House (Not a Home)" closely resembles his Sweethearts of the Rodeo Byrds song "The Christian Life." But like Griffin and pals, they also do sighing ballads, hard outlaw western twang, strumming C&W, and lapsteel crying all so well, with such bonhomie spirit, that this is infectious.

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