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This Is My Blood by The Dirt Drifters

This road-tested group boasts tightknit sibling harmonies and an ear-pleasing tribute to the joys and tragedies of working folk and weekend warriors. Blue-collar themes (such as in standout cut “Name on My Shirt”) are woven throughout the album, landing The Dirt Drifters in the same territory of observant troubadours as John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson.

More than a hard-touring party band, the Drifters make music with well-crafted lyrics such as you use your red lipstick like a loaded gun on “Hurt Somebody.” “Something Better” suggests it’s human nature to hold out for something better, whether that means an underpaid worker hoping for a better career or keeping a lover hanging on while dreaming of the perfect mate. “Always a Reason” celebrates every heartache, celebration, injustice or mundane weeknight with pride and an alcoholic beverage in hand.

“I’ll Shut Up Now,” featuring Willie himself, catalogs the problems of rising gas prices, rogue politicians and a deteriorating environment. It’s not often that troubles like those can sound this good.

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