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Mark Olson & Gary Louris 

Ready for the Flood (Nine West)

Some partnerships were just meant to be. Ever since alt-country pioneers The Jayhawks broke up---though Olson and Louris have both released highly acclaimed solo albums---it was never quite the same. For the first time since 1995, the two have recorded together for an album that showcases how well their voices mesh. When those harmonies click, like on "Turn Your Pretty Name Around," it's bliss. The unsung hero, though, is producer Chris Robinson (ex-Black Crowes), who had the sensible restraint to throw these two into a studio with guitars and see what happened. An intimate performance---blue notes and all.

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