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North Mississippi Allstars 

Electric Blue Watermelon (ATO)

For 2003's Polaris, hill-country boogie monsters the North Mississippi Allstars tried modern rock, but the results weren't nearly as satisfying as the trio's hypnotic hoodoo jams, their sonic signature. Now it's back-to-roots time, with a little help from their friends. Lucinda Williams and North Mississippi singer-guitarist Luther Dickinson exchange tangy vocal lines on the chugging southern-fried grooves of "Hurry Up Sunrise." Elsewhere, Robert Randolph injects his spacey pedal-steel inflections into the sturdy funk of "Stompin' My Foot" (with rapper Al Kapone, who's also on the churning "No Mo"), and the Dirty Dozen adds a rough-hewn brass-band patina to the mournful "Horseshoe." It's another set of raucous swamp stomp, uncompromising enough to satisfy long-time fans and engaging enough to convert newcomers.

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