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Picks and Pans Review: Trampin'

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Patti Smith

Since she launched her anti-pop career 30 years ago, punk avatar Patti Smith has often claimed visionary British poet William Blake as her muse. Here she evokes Blake’s American counterpart Walt Whitman on 11 alternately ecstatic and mournful patriotic hymns that explore our land’s wounded heart. Accompanied by Horses players Lenny Kaye and Jay Dee Daugherty, as well as guitarist-boyfriend Oliver Ray, Smith goes Trampin’ through the heartland only to find that ours is a paradise lost. But in hypnotic song’s like “Peaceable Kingdom” and “Mother Rose,” she becomes a prophet of hope, promising that redemption can be found through faith, tolerance and the one eternal family value: love.

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