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Sound Bites: Shemika Copeland and Seth Walker

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Welcome to another edition of Sound Bites, our economy-sized album reviews. This week, Nick Hutchinson weighs in on two recent national releases from Shemika Copeland and Seth Walker after the jump.

Shemekia Copeland, Never Going Back (Telarc International). With backing by musicians including guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist Chris Wood and keyboardist John Medeski (the latter two of jazz-jam outfit Medeski, Martin and Wood), Copeland offers traditional sounding blues seasoned with contemporary vocal stylings and a splash of funk and jazz to acheive a fresh yet classic effect.

Seth Walker, Leap of Faith (Hyena Records). Make room for the new James Hunter. Austin's Seth Walker follows up his self-titled 2007 release with more of the same old school charm, soul-seasoned craft and flat-out talent that distinguished him two years ago. Recorded in Nashville with the help of Grammy-winning producer Gary Nicholson, his sound cleans up rather nicely on this one.

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