On a cold Detroit morning, a preacher's daughter — familiar with mostly Christian music — stumbles onto Joni Mitchell's Blue and has a life-altering experience. It sounds like both a thousand other musical awakenings and the world's hoariest cliché. But it's all true: After Minneapolis singer-songwriter Keri Noble discovered Mitchell's 1971 confessional classic when she was 18, she immediately launched her own musical career and became a hit on the local coffeehouse circuit. In 2004, Noble released her debut album, Fearless, which was produced by Arif Mardin, the studio stylist who also helmed Norah Jones' first two records. Thanks to that connection and other similarities (for one thing, both gals play the piano), Noble has been compared to Jones. But in truth, the two are worlds apart. Noble injects her music with a bit of alt-rock muscle. She has an EP due soon on Cleveland's Telarc label and a gig at the Beachland this week.
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