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  • Artist: The Devastators
  • Song: “Land of Woe” (from the CD Better Days)
  • Heard By: Nicholas Kistler, Golden Hill

I was listening to it and, sure, I heard a beat that was synonymous with reggae, but I heard a lack of real passion that you generally hear in reggae music. I wasn’t entirely convinced; I wasn’t drawn in. The lyrical content had a message [about] oppression and to be aware in this world today…. I feel that every band has different stages. If they spent more time working on really developing their passion for the message that they have, that might be able to shine through, and that’s when people are going to be completely receptive to it.

  • Artist: Don Strandberg
  • Song: “The Arrival” (from the CD In the Land of Cotton)
  • Heard By: Alex Graham, University City

It’s delightful, first of all. The song gave me a distinctive Irish or Scotch impression. I could see it as music accompanying a Medieval ballad. At the same time, there was something that was distinctly American about it...almost folksy. I guess I’d describe it as something that focused primarily on the guitar. It was completely instrumental. At times it gave me the impression that there were two guitars, but I couldn’t say; I don’t have much musical intelligence at all. He seems to be of high quality. For anyone to hold your attention with solely the guitar for any period of time is probably a difficult thing to do. If it appeals to me, I feel like it would appeal to a fairly wide range of people.

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