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Dave Sampson 

No Pressure, No Diamonds (independent)

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The title song was co-written by five people, so this album has a lot of support and good will behind it. Carleton Stone, Dylan Guthro, Gordie Sampson and Mo Kenney all turn up in various roles. Sampson's throbbing percussive piano brings to mind Coldplay, perhaps too often. Fresher is the interplay of Guthro's mandolin and Jason Mowery's fiddle on "These Days." Among the ballads, the one that sticks is "Last Two Standing", with its image of a lone couple holding down a dance floor. There's just enough east coast in Sampson's songs to rescue them from the maw of mainstream cliche.

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