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Charlie Wiener 

Small Truths for Sale (Two Dogs Records)

Everyone knows Charlie Wiener is funny. He's been doing standup for 19 years, knocking them dead at small clubs and college campuses around the Midwest. And the really on-the-ball folks know Wiener can bring it musically as well.

Small Truths for Sale is a more than respectable follow-up to Ghosts in the Window, Wiener's return to music-making after 15 years of leaving 'em laughing on the road. Comedy aside, Wiener can write a mean tune, whether it's country, rock, or blues. And don't assume that everything on Small Truths is witty or hilarious, although much of it certainly is. Behind every clown is someone really pissed off at the world, and Wiener gets plenty serious on tunes like "Paper Faces" and "Hanging Tree."

But mirth is still Wiener's bread and butter, and offerings such as "It's Not a Bike," "Shut Up and Leave," and "Mrs. Wiener's New Do" deliver mightily.

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