8) Tarbox Ramblers, "Country Blues," on A Fix Back East (Rounder). Producer Jim Dickinson gets a big, echoey Time Out of Mind sound, which makes it feel as if everything here is taking place inside the not altogether sane head of the singer. But Michael Tarbox is so growly he might as well be a bear, and when he applies himself to Dock Boggs's 1927 testament to a wasted life, the startling boogie arrangement makes his voice feel like a put-up job. But his slide guitar makes another voice--and when Tarbox comes back singing in an almost delirious mode, he takes the song out of his head and into some ugly bar, where new people keep turning up even if no one's left for years.
"Tarbox takes the song out of his head and into some ugly bar, where new people keep turning up even if no one's left for years"
9) Carole King for John Kerry (caroleking.com, Feb. 2) King was all over New Hampshire before the primary, singing "I Feel the Earth Move" at house parties and "You've Got a Friend" at benefit concerts--but has she played "The Locomotion"? "One Fine Day"? Or redone Bobby Vee's "It Might as Well Rain Until September" as "It Might as Well Rain Until November"--whatever that would mean?