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World Music CD Reviews North American

COYOTE ZEN

By Phil Meadley
Published February 17, 2006

Medicine Dog
Paw Records

A light-on-the-ears acoustic workout from Jeffrey Gray Parker. Think blues with a Native American twist and slight country overtones and you have the perfect summary of Medicine Dog. There’s nothing to dislike on this album but, conversely, there’s nothing to make it stand out from the pack. “160 (Stomp)” features atmospheric spoken word snippets from Anna Huckaby and evocative turtle shackles from Lisa LaRue, but these tend to lose their credence when Parker’s unnecessary guitar solos kick in. The best commendation for the album would be to say that it has a distinct cinematic quality in a similar vein to Ry Cooder. However, Cooder’s music retains a vital edge that is missing in this album even if tracks such as the acoustic guitar-led “Eagle And Coyote” are highly listenable.