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World Cafe Next: Karl Blau

Karl Blau.
Karl Blau.

Producer Tucker Martine was familiar with Pacific Northwest singer-songwriter Karl Blau through Blau's work on Laura Veirs' records; Martine is Veirs' husband and has produced her latest work. Martine had a vision of setting Blau's voice against lush, dreamy, string-drenched arrangements, and Introducing Karl Blau took shape.

Although Blau has released 40 or so records over the last 20 years, the word "Introducing" in the title still applies because of the album's unique sound — and because so many people are still hearing him for the first time. The choice of material is inspired, including Link Wray's "Fallin' Rain," a couple of Tom T. Hall songs and even a Tom Rush original (courtesy of years of country-music crate-digging). All fit Karl Blau's voice perfectly.

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