Various Artists

Safety First: Emphasis Music Sampler No. 1

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This comp from suburban Chicago indie Emphasis Entertainment ranges from the earnest, Tracy Chapman-ish folk-rock of Ellen Rosner (her song "Perfect Malcontent" appears in both studio and live formats), to contemporary jazz (Laskar Reese and R.J. Temple) and blowsy, bluesy funk (Betty in Black's "Previval"). Best might be Astra Kelly, whose two contributions showcase her reedy, plaintive vocals and an engaging blend of Ani DiFranco and Sister Hazel.

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