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Shannon Stephens: Pull It Together
Buy! - (Asthmatic Kitty)
This Seattle-based singer-songwriter (and former band-mate of Sufjan Stevens) toughens up her sound and lyrical perspective on her third solo album with help from a stellar supporting cast of mostly Northwest musicians. Seattle guitarist Jeff Fielder plays a particularly prominent role, and his gritty, bluesy guitar work along with the muscular rhythms provided by Jason Gray and James McAlister help bring a welcome earthiness and directness to some of her most emotionally hard-hitting (and occasionally politically charged) songs to date. 5/17/2012 - Don Yates