Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Johnny Dowd: Wrong Side of Memphis [Checkered Past, 1997]
The vita that marks this middle-aged Ithaca moving man as a genuwine everyman reduces just as readily to boho-with-a-day-job, and lest you look down on him he's careful to stick an "existential" into the one about the "Average Guy," so-called. When he finds "tender love," his tropes pick up considerable--"Like beans and rice she's a total plateful," nice and homely. But soon it's back to murder and misery in the dismal swamp quote unquote, with malnourished blues to match. Gangsta folk--not only are the stories old hat, the beats suck. B-