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Sleepy LaBeef

Tomorrow Never Comes – 2000 (M.C.)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Sleepy LaBeef

In a world in which nothing stands still or stays the same for long, there are few constants you can count on anymore, though a new Sleepy LaBeef album comes close.

So having said that, it+s a safe bet that if you liked LaBeef+s last album (has it really been four years?), you+ll probably like the new one, too; a mixture of American roots music as ageless now as it was 40 years ago. As usual, LaBeef tackles a set of 14 covers that will be mostly familiar to anyone who+s seen him perform over the past several years. For instance, Spade Cooley+s 1946 hit "Detour" is revved up to fine effect here, and in LaBeef+s hands the Surfaris+ "Wipeout" is transformed into a rave-up that owes more to Link Wray than the likes of Dick Dale.

Interestingly, Maria Muldaur shows up as LaBeef+s duet partner on two pretty straight country numbers; "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "Raining In My Heart." And Muldaur is in fine form, too; with raspy, bluesy vocals that are sure to be a surprise to anyone who still associates her with her 1974 pop hit, "Midnight at the Oasis." (M.C., P.O. Box 1788 Huntington Station, NY 11746 or E-Mail: mc@mc-records.com