Kelly Hogan and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts Beneath The Country Underdog

"Papa was a rodeo/mama was a rock 'n' roll band," sings the insurgent country crooner while covering the Magnetic Fields. Like Lynne, Hogan also searches for soul roots in her take on country, and finds them with the help of punchy arrangements from a crack band (led by the Mekons' Jon Langford) and stellar song selection. The capper is an astounding cover of "Whispering Pines" by the Band, another act who embodied the crossroads of country and soul traditions. When Langford does a call-and-response with Hogan on the song's final verse, he sounds like the ghost of Richard Manuel himself. Hogan has captured the heart and soul of country perfectly on her full-length debut, no makeover required. (Bloodshot)