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CD Review: Middle Brother

Middle Brother (Partisan)

This supergroup is made up of three new-school alt-country singer-songwriters: Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith, Deer Tick's John McCauley, and Delta Spirit's Matthew Vasquez. And, just like with their full-time gigs, the guy with the most distinct voice is the one who stands out. McCauley's twangy rasp is all over the album — on originals like "Daydreaming" and "Me, Me, Me," and on the cover of the Replacements rarity "Portland." He pulls Middle Brother away from mere curio and toward a cohesive record that tops other recent collaborations like Monsters of Folk and Them Crooked Vultures. The trio gets raw and rowdy occasionally, but these are mostly laidback songs underscoring their silky harmonies. Kinda like The Basement Tapes without the star power. — Gallucci

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