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Joel Rafael Woodeye

By Lennart Persson

It's been half a century since he was an active singer and songwriter, but Woody Guthrie's music never seems to lose its power. Bruce Springsteen has done several albums in Woody's spirit of political music-journalism, Wilco and Billy Bragg have done two great albums filled with Woody's songs.

Now's the time for Joel Rafael as an interpreter of Woody's music, released on Jackson Browne's label. And it's brilliant - Rafael has a mature and convincing voice, he's surrounded by a beautiful and sparkling acoustic band and he's handpicked songs that are both well-known, as well as a little bit more obscure.

Extra credit should be given for digging up "Don't Kill My Baby And Son," a really scary song Woody wrote when he found out that his father once took part in a lynching of a black family.

(Rating 4/5)

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