Beth Wood

Late Night Radio

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Beth Wood has first-hand knowledge of how volatile the music industry can be. The guitar-playing singer/songwriter suffered a disappointing setback in 1998, when the small, Atlanta-based Autonomous label folded a mere three months after releasing her second album, New Blood. So when both of Wood's Autonomous CDs, Woodwork and New Blood, went out of print and became difficult to find, she took matters into her own hands by recording a third album, Late Night Radio, and circulating it herself. It's a good thing that she took the proactive approach, for there's a lot to admire about this CD. Though it falls short of being a gem, Late Night Radio is an appealing, satisfying effort that is far from predictable. The charming storyteller sounds very much at home on rootsy, earthy pop-rock offerings like "Grenadine," "My Miles Davis Kind of Blue," and "Guilty," but she's equally expressive on acoustic folk numbers such as "Ghost of a Man" and Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightening" (the only song on the CD that she didn't write herself). Wood has described herself as "a rock & roll person who reserves the right to be a folkie," and it's hard to argue with that description after listening to Late Night Radio. One hopes that eventually, she will become better-known.

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