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Justin Hines, Days to Recall
Decca Records, Aug. 2

07/28/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Some things just pop up out of nowhere and remind you that no matter how broke or lonely or bummed you might be, things could be worse and things will get better. A recent staple on PBS pledge drives, this guy here was born with Larsen Syndrome, a joint disorder confining him to a wheelchair, but it can honestly be said that in some respects it’s been a blessing.  Though honky-soulful in the manner of Amos Lee or Jeff Buckley, his voice isn’t any more technically remarkable than your average American Idol fifth runner-up, a style that’s obviously oversaturated the culture over the last few years, thus without a little bit of — what, gimmickry? — his obedient, gospel-tinged blues-rock songwriting would, I assure you, never have been heard. But man, seriously, what a special case this is, as you know if you’ve seen him rock out. Though musically his original tunes appeal mostly to fans whose tastes fall somewhere between Dave Matthews and James Taylor, the package as a whole is, no kidding around, a triumph of humanity. A+  —Eric W. Saeger






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