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Issue Date: November 2004 Issue

Local Sounds

Jim Vickers

Boho Zen • Release Me [EP]

Howard Fencl and Bob Walker have been part of Northeast Ohio's rock scene for years, but their most recent collaboration, a two-piece act called Boho Zen, deftly walks the line between ragged garage rock and the sort of intelligent songwriting reminiscent of English pop act XTC. But let's not forget the whirring organ, which adds a splash of the '60s psychedelic scene, or Fencl's impressive guitar work that pushes the duo beyond the confines of simple three-chord fare. Sonically raw, the 19-minute release bustles with a wall-to-wall energy that shines through on tracks such as "Amazing Trains of the World" and "Wouldn't It Be."

Colin Dussault • Not Tonight Baby, I've Got the Blues

If Colin Dussault isn't this city's hardest-working bluesman, we want the proof. For the past 16 years, Colin Dussault's Blues Project has played more than 300 shows a year by reaching beyond the 12-bar shuffle and bouncing across musical genres. But Dussault's bluesy heart and soulful voice is always at the center and that's what makes this release so much fun. A mix of covers and originals, the 13-track disc opens with an arresting version of Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" (accompanied by female vocalists Mary Bridget Davies and Becky Boyd, as well as four members of The Prayer Warriors). The disc then hikes across fun and familiar territory with nods to Robert Johnson ("Sweet Home Chicago") and Johnny Cash ("I Walk the Line") and mixes in a handful of originals along the way, before ending with a piano-and-vocals treatment of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue."

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