CD Quick Spins: North Mississippi Allstars, Liam Finn, Dengue Fever

North Mississippi Allstars “Fernando” (Songs of the South Records)

KEEPING the blues fresh in the digital age is no picnic. This young trio at least cooks up riffs authentically ragged, raw and Dixie-fried on its latest album (due Tuesday). Two of these players are the progeny of Muscle Shoals vet Jim Dickinson (who returns as producer) and it shows. Singer-guitarist Luther Dickinson fires up a solo of wild jazzbo on “Soldier,” and later wails a sad lament: “I’d love to be a hippie, but my hair won’t grow that long . . . " The chooglin’ is breezier on “Mizzip,” another righteous salute to bona fide southern rock ‘n’ blues. --Steve Appleford

Liam Finn “I’ll Be Lightning” (Yep Roc)

THE former front man for New Zealand pop band Betchdupa steps out with a solo album (due Tuesday) exploiting his Beck-like fondness for tracks often built on loops of found, muted and/or distorted sounds that amplify songs of fractured love or dashed hopes. But like his dad -- Crowded House popmeister Neil Finn -- Liam never veers too far from a killer melody or winsome harmony, which he delivers with the fetching voice that would seem to be ingrained in the Finn DNA.--Randy Lewis

Dengue Fever “Venus on Earth” (M80)

LOS Angeles-based indie-rock band Dengue Fever has earned international acclaim for its stylish, genre-bending take on Cambodian pop. On its third album (in stores Tuesday), the band channels its passion for Khmer rock and ‘60s psych into an increasingly unique musical hybrid. “Seeing Hands” is sultry Cambodian-Middle Eastern noir, while “Tiger Phone Card,” is a retro-rock romance, and “Oceans of Venus” is spaghetti-surf fun. Sexy and eclectic, it’s world music for the cool kids.--Sarah Tomlinson