Jeff Bates

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Jeff Bates rose to fame crooning slow-burn numbers like “The Love Song” and “Long, Slow Kisses,” but his self-titled third album widens its scope to survey a more all-around view of life. All the classic-country touchstones are here: mortality (“Riverbank”), spirituality (“He Wasn’t Like Us”), redneck pride (the matched set “Country Man” and “A Country Girl Can”), wry philosophy (“I Can’t Have Nothing Nice,” “Some Days”) and, yeah, there are a few of those yearning love songs that set hearts aflutter. They’re all lent distinction by Jeff’s sonorous voice and an inimitable Mississippi accent that carries its own undeniable ring of authenticity.

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