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CD Review: Jon Shain 

Army Jacket Winter

Label:Flyin' Records

The Deal: Local folkie's eclectic mix of blues, gospel, folk and zydeco.

The Good: The term folkie is a loose fit for Chapel Hill-based singer/ songwriter Jon Shain. Over the course of his career, he experimented with most of the other genres in his groups Flyin' Mice and Weke before settling into the more or less folk-oriented solo artist persona he's used for most of the past decade. He still stirs in tasty morsels from other genres on his latest, Army Jacket Winter. "Song for Jo Jo" is zydeco-flavored, swampy bayou blues. Shain's gospel-tinged ode to nostalgia, "Pictures From the Past," sounds like it could have been culled from the Carter family songbook. "Throne Of Gold" is a hoodoo blues, Neil Young under the influence of Dr. John. His only cover, Tom Petty's "Time To Move On" sounds more like Prine than Petty. Shain's acoustic version is more down-homey than Petty's fast paced electric rock and roll version from his 1999 Wallflowers record.

The Bad: The same things that make Shain interesting make him hard to market. If you're expecting a total immersion in blues or folk, you may be in for some surprises, pleasant as they may be.

The Verdict: Put aside your genre prejudices and prepare to be entertained in a variety of styles. There's something suitable for every mood.

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