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Monte Dunn and Karen Cruz

Monte Dunn and Karen Cruz

(Fallout; US: 10 Jun 2008; UK: Available as import)

Released in the late ‘60s but finally seeing the light of day on CD, Monte Dunn and Karen Cruz exemplify the delicate folk style that was so rife in that era. Featuring members who would work alongside Tim Hardin, Richie Havens and also Bob Dylan, the tandem of Dunn and Cruz make sweet music on the melodic “Never In My Life” which recalls the likes of a more somber Mamas and the Papas. Perhaps the only drawback to this effort is how some numbers come off too highbrow or artsy, as is the case with the almost medieval “Order To Things” which would fit better in a British theatre piece than any Brit-folk album. The tandem fleshes out “You Don’t Smile Much” perfectly thanks to the work of the seasoned supporting case of banjo player Eric Weissberg and guitarist Bruce Langhorne. It makes for a fine, troubadour, train-chugging number. And it’s in sharp contrast to the mellow, lounge-y and limp “Loving You”. Dunn takes a large share of the vocals on “Self Satisfaction” which has some timeless content suited for the genre. Meanwhile, the pair nail “Outside Looking In” with its John Denver, toe-tapping seasoning. Dunn and Cruz also work in a little swinging country-rock nugget called “Yellow Cab”. It might be only 28 minutes, but it makes every moment count.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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