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Graham Parker & the Rumour 

Three Chords Good (EMI)

click to enlarge grham-review.jpg
A caustic, key performer in 1970s UK pub rock that begat punk, Parker has never really stopped. He’s managed to reassemble the sextet from his best early albums, such as Howlin’ Wind. The playing on Three Chords Good is less fierce, as are his vocals. The songs are another matter. Parker skewers the military disconnect (“Arlington’s Busy”) and the anti-abortion rights crowd (“Coathangers”) while wistfully noting simple pleasures (“Last Bookstore in Town”) with rich descriptive powers. He’s not a household name, a source of jokes for his recent cameo in This is 40. Long-time fans should feel renewed. New fans have some catching up to do.

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