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"Long distance information, give me Memphis, Tennesse..."

What is it with Memphis these days? There’s a new TV series about a blues-singing detective (Memphis Beat) and new albums out by Cyndi Lauper (Memphis Blues) and singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow's 100 Miles From Memphis.

Crow grew up in Kennett, Missouri — 100 miles from Memphis — and says that her musical roots were an offshoot of the soul and R&B she listened to on Memphis radio. She proves it with this album. It’s filled with original songs that bring to mind Al Green and Stevie Wonder and warm southern nights grooving to sensual soul music on a front porch with a Jack on the rocks.

Add to this Keith Richards's guitar backing on "Eye to Eye," Justin Timberlake singing backup on "Sign Your Name," and Ms Crow's pitch-perfect vocals, and you've got an album for repeat listening.

"Summer Day," an R&B-style love song with simple lyrics ("I wasn't looking for love to come my way..."), the title track, and the cover of Michael Jackson’s “I Want You Back” are sure to be iTunes favorites.

Ms. Crow, a one-time backup singer for Michael Jackson and power-pop hit-maker in her youth, has matured, over-coming cancer and Lance. With this new album, she's found a new soul groove and musical direction that obviously pleases her and is well worth the price of admission.

Album: 100 Miles From Memphis (2010)
Artist: Sheryl Crow
Label: A&M
Songs: (1) Our Love Is Fading (2) Eye to Eye (3) Sign Your Name (4) Summer Day (5) Long Road Home (6) Say What You Want (7) Peaceful Feeling (8) Stop (9) Sideways (10) 100 Miles from Memphis (11) Roses and Moonlight (12) I Want You Back

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