Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Corey Harris: Downhome Sophisticate [Rounder, 2002]
If Harris had the good sense to be white, he'd be a roots-rock hero. But it would probably help too if he gave the four-piece whose record this is a moniker, so here goes. Those North Nawlins No-Names, dang--they evoke the heart-skip irregularities of Delta blues like gathering moss is for moldy figs. Blend in West Africa like blues came from there or something. And top it off with rock-type poetry that makes like social conditions are as real as love and dreams. Songwriting could be sharper, true. But if you're looking for a sound, they've got one in spades. A-