Sing You Sinners by Erin Mckeown
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Plenty of contemporary artists have addressed the classic American songbook, but few have romped through it with more playful verve than Erin McKeown. Fans of Norah Jones will find a kindred spirit here, though McKeown's singing is sunnier and her instrumentation more syncopated. (Or, since music like this has become increasingly associated with upscale coffee shops, more caffeinated.) From the giddy rendition of "Get Happy" that opens the album through the calypso spin given "Paper Moon" and the ruminative recasting of "Just One of Those Things," guitarist McKeown and band seem more interested in breathing fresh life into great songs than embalming them with nostalgic respect. --Don McLeese