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CD SPOTLIGHT : Singing a Soulful ‘Adios’

*** 1/2; VARIOUS ARTISTS; “Adios Amigo: A Tribute to Arthur Alexander”, Razor & Tie

In the flood of tribute compilations, this is a standout--the first indication being the distinguished artists who have contributed versions of songs by Arthur Alexander. He’s the late R&B; singer-songwriter best known for his “Anna” (recorded by the Beatles) and “You Better Move On” (the Rolling Stones). Among those on board: Frank Black, Elvis Costello, Chuck Jackson, Mark Knopfler (on guitar), Graham Parker, Robert Plant and John Prine.

But the album’s chief revelation is the emotional purity of Alexander’s songs, mostly soulful ballads with a country tinge and heart-stirring sentimentality. A gem.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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