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Say Zuzu

Live – 1999 (Broken White)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Say Zuzu

Over the past few years New Hampshire's Say Zuzu have been quietly developing into a roots-rock band as good as any other out there, though not often mentioned in the same breath as other kingpins of the genre for some reason. The band is far more deserving of attention than some others in the genre, particularly after last year's "Bull."

Recorded in New Hampshire and accompanied by guest steel guitarist Bruce Derr, Say Zuzu tackle a set made up of favorites from their first few albums with covers of Waylon Jennings' and Willie Nelson's "Good Hearted Woman" and Elvis Presley's "Love Me" thrown in for good measure. The growth that the group has shown in the years since the originals were first recorded is sometimes remarkable, with the tender "Lovely Mary" and the rocking "Tomorrow," in particular, having considerably more power than their studio versions.

The only odd thing is that the group's 1998 album "Bull" - one of '98's best indie releases in many ways - is completely ignored here.

In any event, if you've heard good things about Say Zuzu, "Live" represents as good a starting point as any.(Say Zuzu, 140 Fleet St., Portsmouth, N.H. 03801)