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CD Review: Rachel Brown & the Beatnik Playboys

Just Look My Way (self-released)


Singer-songwriter Rachel Brown has assembled a big band (dubbed the Beatnik Playboys) to accompany her on her solo debut. That's only appropriate since she's got a big, beautiful voice and arrangements accentuate it perfectly. She channels Emmylou Harris/ Bonnie Raitt on the luscious, country-ish ballads "Peace in the Valley," "So This is Love" and the title track, and then ventures into Roy Orbison territory on the elegant "Just Words." Featuring organ, piano and horns, "Enjoy the Dance" is a fun roots-rock anthem that nicely summarizes Brown's sound. Brown has been singing since she was 10 and that experience comes through loud and clear on this terrific CD that would hold its own going up against any big-budget production out of Nashville.

Rachel Brown & the Beatnik Playboys perform with Brent Kirby and Chris Hanna at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Nighttown and with Nate Jones and Jason Patrick Meyers at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 at the Beachland Tavern.

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