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Our Town

From blues to kiddie core, the year 2001 was an odyssey in local music. Backbeat writers remember the best.

Cindy Wonderful
24 of Her Greatest Hits Vol. 1
(Wonderground)
Cindy Wonderful busts out the cheap tape recorder, the effects pedal, the sampler and the acoustic guitar for this mental menagerie of widely varied -- and variously successful -- songs. A collection that veers far from the territory Wonderful covered most recently with the dadaesque hip-hop construct Rainbow Sugar, Greatest Hits is a confounding, chaotic and occasionally just plain pretty glimpse into the mind of a sometimes-local believer. -- Bond

Yonder Mountain String Band
Town by Town
(Frog Pad)
Boulder's kings of the sixty-minute bluegrass medley shatter perceptions with this pleasing, to-the-point recording. Town by Town's bare-bones tunes are largely short songs built on vintage structures, played with soul- and knee-slapping skill by Yonder's unplugged pickers. Sure, the band's mountain music includes textures more native to Colorado than Kentucky. But YMSB plays jam-grass that can tickle even the most patchouli-loathing Americana fan. -- Jones

Armando Zuppa
Zupperman
A delightful, playful solo debut from the Italian-born leader of neo-traditional bluegrass outfit New Country Kitchen, Zupperman is a riotous romp through the hallowed lands of country-style picking. An exemplary banjo player with a flair for drama -- he casts himself as a superhero in the album's liner notes -- Armando Zuppa moves through Zupperman's nine songs with a confidence and agility that reveals him as a master of his instrument, his genre and, ahem, his cape. -- Bond

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