Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Link of Chain: A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither [Signature Sounds, 2014]
Speaking of songwriters, Loudon Wainwright and Dave Alvin are, Bonnie Raitt has done well pretending she isn't, and not one of the dozen remaining contributors has ever made a better album on his or her lonesome. Smither's signature wordcraft lifts Tim O'Brien from his bluegrass congeniality and Paul Cebar from his pan-roots congeniality, Mary Gauthier from her gravity and Patty Larkin from her purity, and so on. Nor would any Smither partisan deny that his vocals could use more changing up than his voice can manage. Which makes this a good idea coming and going. A-