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Sixty Acres

Good Ethel – 2000 (Dren)

Reviewed by Eric Zehnbauer

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CDs by Sixty Acres

Just when you might have thought all that comes out of Washington, D.C. is hot air and blather, Sixty Acres proves our Capitol can still provide some redeeming social value. What has been called "alternative country," has branched out into several different sounds so that it becomes hard to describe. But there are certain, seminal artists whose mere mention defines the "alt-country" sound: Uncle Tupelo, the Jayhawks, Neil Young.

Sixty Acres' press bio mentions these artistic influences and no wonder. Their influences are easily noticeable throughout this excellent album. Lead vocalist Matt Felch often sounds uncannily like Jay Farrar, without coming off as an intentional sound-alike. Meanwhile, the instrumental work throughout results in the overall tempo and feel closely recalling The Jayhawks' masterwork, "Hollywood Town Hall." There's not a single weak track among the 13, and the production is great: clear vocals, awesome guitar work that isn't muddy or overly cranked, well-paced throughout.

This is an album that you just put on the CD player and press "Repeat." (Dren, POB 43, Sandy Spring, MD 20860)