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Album Review

Charlie King and Karen Brandow expound upon Tinky Winky, Wal-Mart, and their love for one another on I Struck Gold, a genuine folk album filled with social criticism and good humor. While King and Brandow relish wearing their left-wing credentials on their sleeves, they also remember to make their music lively and engaging. "Six Days With the Boss" utilizes the famous trucker song to tell the story of French workers who wouldn't let the boss go until he started listening to their demands. Lovely accordion work by Len Wallace and fiddle by Jeff Belding strike the perfect mood for this funny tune. Si Kahn's poignant "Wal-Mart Union Gonna Rise Again" tells the story of meat department workers attempting to organize Sam Walton's mega-store. The brooding mood is carried by Brandow and King's impassioned vocals, leaving the listener with a masterpiece of contemporary protest music. "Tinky Winky" begins as a funny and somewhat frivolous satire on Jerry Falwell's triad against Teletubbies, only to turn into a blistering attack on how gay bashing can lead to the death of innocents like Matthew Shephard. These few samples may not prepare one for the chronicle of "Barney," the story of an over-inflated, out of control dinosaur who becomes violent during the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Clearly, the prehistoric purple beast will never look the same again. There are many other fine moments on I Struck Gold, and the supporting cast, including Reggie and Kim Harris, is fabulous. King and Brandow compare favorably to the eclectic duo Small Potatoes, or the political folk of Magpie. Here they have made a wonderful album that should please fans and anyone who appreciates quality folk. ~ Ronnie Lankford, Jr., Rovi

I Struck Gold, Charlie King & Karen Brandow
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