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Ed Pettersen

The New Punk Blues of Ed Pettersen – 2007 (Split Rock)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Ed Pettersen

Despite the title of Ed Pettersen's latest, this is primarily a folk-rock album, with traces of country and blues in the mix.

The most interesting tracks are the opening and closing songs in which Pettersen appears to be reluctantly letting the current political climate affect his songwriting. The opener "Gather the Family 'Round" finds Pettersen proclaiming "I never thought I was left but something ain't right/About what I'm seeing on the news tonight," and then complaining of high gas prices, eminent domain abuses, and post 9/11 racial profiling ("My brother-in-law's got a dark complexion/They took him in to ask some questions").

In the closing track "Baghdad," Pettersen comments on the devastation caused by the bombing of the Iraqi city, though he is neither hawk nor critic ("I'm not saying it's right or wrong/It's just my job to write a song about Baghdad").

In between Pettersen delivers a solid collection of folk ballads ("June, 1945," "Chelsea"), rockers ("Top Ten") and country blues ("Johnny Parker"). With solid support that includes Reggie Young (guitar) and Al Perkins (steel), Pettersen is thoroughly enjoyable.