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Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few

June in Siberia (Aquarius)

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Mark Berube’s orchestral jazz-folk recalls other instrument-happy musicians of the last few years like Beirut and La Strada, but the music goes beyond the orchestral sound. Berube’s arrangements are notable for the fullness of the sound, packed in with piano, cello, upright bass, drums and vocals. Though he played with larger bands on previous records, the sound doesn’t lack here, the songs intricately textured. “Side of the Road” recall Tom Waits’ melancholy stories about waitresses. Berube’s sense of poetry stands out on tracks like “Hurricane.” He also collaborates with other musicians on some tracks, like C.R. Avery’s beat-poet hip-hop riffs on “Let Me Go.” Rounded out by Berube’s elegant piano and drifting voice, June In Siberia sparkles.

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