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Various Artists

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records – 2005 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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Since 1994, Bloodshot Records has been a variety of things, not the least of which is unconventional. That's why it should come as no surprise that the company regards 11 years as a decade any more than it surprises us that some of the best off-kilter country has found a home for those years in this Chicago framework.

Bloodshot has more often than not ignored the boundaries instead of merely crossing them. So it's hard to imagine that anyone, even with the broadest tastes, would like everything on this two-disc set. At the same time it's hard to believe that anyone who likes their country on the adventurous side not finding enough to like to make this purchase worthwhile.

Some of the better known acts presented here include Sixteen Horsepower, The Bottle Rockets, Richard Buckner, Graham Parker, Old 97s, John Doe, Wayne Hancock, Hank Williams III and the Waco Brothers. Yet some of the more memorable tunes come from artists like The Yayhoos and the Starkweathers.

As long as there is a company like Bloodshot to go with musicians and listeners who don't feel that mainstream country is all there is, then a second decade disc is entirely likely, say on the 22-year anniversary?