Local Licks 

This week, we review Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month, Houston Jones, Astralingua, and Shootin Lucy.

Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month, Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month. Not everyone can be Bob Dylan, but that doesn't stop people from trying. Quinn's homage to proto-psychedelic '60s folk maintains a safe distance from derivative, yet the influences and inspiration are inescapable on this solo debut. A little less gray and more black and white will help Quinn establish his own niche. (Soft Abuse)

Houston Jones, Calico Heart. Houston Jones' fourth record is an uplifting collection of no-frills Americana. The quintet has considerable experience under its belts, and it shows: the band comfortably dishes out bright, warm American roots music with a bit of swing, a touch of soul, and lots of heart. (Summerhill Records)

Astralingua, Contact EP. The ears are satisfied, but the mind is left wanting. Berkeley composer and producer Joe Thompson — plus a few decorated guest musicians who've worked with Cake and Tom Waits, among others — strive for a balance between world music and prog-rock, but Astralingua is ultimately too hybridized for its own good. (self-released)

Shootin Lucy, Shootin Lucy EP. Six songs isn't a ton of time to get to know a band, especially when only one hits the three-minute mark. But Oakland's Shootin Lucy makes enough of an impression to warrant this teaser for its upcoming full-length. The three-year-old quintet's first- and second-wave punk revival feels heavy and raw, with melodies for shouting along to. (self-released)


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