A Sure-Footed Collection Of 'African Blues'

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"My War Blues" finds guitarist Cian Nugent drawing on Black Flag as a new source for American standards. Cait Fahey hide caption

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'My War Blues' by Cian Nugent

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Though marked by whistling, buoyant keys and an unconventional beat, Fenster's "Oh Canyon" has a sinister quality. Maxime Ballesteros hide caption

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Oh Canyon

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With his growling vocals, Howlin' Wolf fought his way to the top of the cutthroat Chicago blues scene. Frank Driggs Collection hide caption

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Howlin' Wolf: A Blues Legend With An Earthy Sound

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In "Zero Dark Thirty," rapper Aesop Rock returns from a long hiatus, still armed with propulsion and pessimism. Chrissy Piper hide caption

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'Zero Dark Thirty' by Aesop Rock

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Eccentric Soul: A Red Black Green Production (the cover detail of the album is above) revisits the influence of producer Robert Williams on the 1970s soul scene in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The Sound Man Behind The Soul Of The Nation's Capital

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Conceived in Santa Fe and Scandinavia, Glacier Face's "Fahrenheit" is a gorgeous wanderer's ode to the world's connectedness. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Fahrenheit' by Glacier Face

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Kenny Garrett's "Welcome Earth Song" conjures the spirit of Pharoah Sanders — and a soul-stirring church service. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Seeds from the Underground

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Todd Snider: 'Stoner Fables' With A Layered Worldview

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Ryan Shaw covers 1967's "You Don't Know Nothing About Love" with tenderness and pyrotechnics. Carol Friedman hide caption

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You Don't Know Nothing About Love

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Recalling '80s British heavy metal, Christian Mistress' "Haunted Hunted" is set apart by Christine Davis' smoky vocals. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Haunted Hunted

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Joan Soriano. Alicia Santistevan hide caption

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From Dominican Roots, Bachata Is Here To Stay

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Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart incorporates sampled sounds of the cosmos in "Who Stole the Show?" John Werner hide caption

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Mysterium Tremendum

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Jenny Scheinman's (left) quartet represents players raised on and used to playing all kinds of music. Michael Gross hide caption

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Jenny Scheinman's 'Mayhem' Hard To Pin Down

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