Various Artists

Signature Sounds' 2000 Collection

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Ordering any of the releases on Massachusetts folk indie Signature Sounds (/ also gets you this label sampler, which reveals the company's catalog to contain a number of impressive singer/songwriters as well as bluegrass and country-leaning artists. Tracks from 1998 and 1999 releases are included, along with half a dozen from just-released or to-be-released 2000 collections and two otherwise unreleased tracks: Mark Erelli's lovelorn lament "Fool Number 1" and former Salamander Crossing member Rani Arbo and her new group Daisy Mayhem's "Long Time Traveling Here Below." The styles range from Brooks Williams' appealing guitar instrumental version of Caetano Veloso's "O Leaozinho" to Knots & Crosses' folk-rock raver "Absolution" and the defunct Salamander Crossing's bluegrass reading of Greg Trooper and Jon Walmsley's "Light in the Window." But for the most part, this is the music of singer/songwriters singing their own compositions over acoustic guitar accompaniment. The standouts include Richard Shindell's "Abuelita," in which a grandmother attempts to reclaim her grandchild; Jim Henry's reminiscence of childhood, "Drive-In Picture Show"; and Pete Nelson's character study "Ballad of Eddie Gay." But it's likely that that, if you received this album by buying one of the label's releases, you'll find something else to add to your collection.

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