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Zack Walther & the CronkitesAmbition—This strong ten-song set opens with “Georgia Cane” a cinematic talk of a wiled woman with irresistible appeal and closes with a blast with explosive rock. The album has everything from pop-rocking “So Hard” to a tender prayer for redemption “Just Say When) and soulful reflections about life rewards on “Money Tree.” Ambition is a record that explores many different genres and Walther sings with a classic voice that’s strong and full of finesses and feelings. 4.0 McRiprock’s.

 Vanessa Peters & Ice Cream on MondaysSweetheart, Keep Your Chin Up—In the last three years, Peters has released three albums and played over 250 shows in ten countries. Her record is a blend of rootsy pop jangle and country noir and is something of a concept album, taking fairy tales and myths and putting a modern spin on them, giving a voice to such characters as Odysseus, Penelope, The Sirens, The Wicked Witch of the West and others. She’s a true singer-songwriter at heart with tunes that are reminiscent of Aimee Mann, Suzanne Vega and Beth Orton. 5.0 McRicprock’s.

 The WilkinsNo Expiry Date—This album blends timeless elements of acoustic, folks, pop, and rock with a touch of Celtic music using three part harmonies. Hailing from Canada, this family, Mark Wilkins, Jan Wilkins and their son Julian Wilkins were nominated for “Best Folk Artist” in 2008 at the Ontario Independent Music Awards.  No Expiry Date showcases their variety of styles from lyrically clever “Love is Gone” to the lively up-tempo pop/rock “You Can’t Tell Me.” 4.0 McRiprock’s.

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