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Hard Times

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Album Review

This is the debut by traditional folk singer Karie Oberg. With a preference for Irish folk music and her strong voice, comparison's with Maura O'Connell spring to mind. While passion and soul is evident in Oberg's voice, she unfortunately lacks the enunciation and phrasing of noted folk singers like O'Connell and Mary Black. Hard Times, splendidly produced by John Wright, and accompanied by Lehto and Wright, is an album is full of wonderful songs like "Ramblin' Irishman," "Raglan Road," and "The Water is Wide." The Stephen Foster title track has steadily become a favorite among roots-based artists like Syd Straw, the Lost Dogs, and Emmylou Harris. Oberg continues that trend in resounding fashion with the help of backing vocalists Lehto and Wright, along with their respective stringed instruments. Hard Times is a very good debut by a singer with enormous promise. As long as she remains associated with an excellent cast of musicians and producers, her full potential will be realized.

Hard Times, Karie Oberg
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