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John Craigie, Jan. 13, The Olympic

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In a press release for his new album, No Rain, No Rose (Zabriskie Point Records, Jan. 27, 2017), Portland, Ore.-based John Craigie explains taking the title from an "old Buddhist saying, 'No mud, no lotus,' which basically means, you need the bad things to make the good things. I changed it to reflect my rainy City of Roses."

There's a mournful quality to Craigie's songs, as well as a deep sense of place. Tracks like "I Am California" and "Coldest Colorado" bring the West and the people who live there to life, filtered through his twangy voice and folk guitar strumming.

The Yin to mud and rain's Yang are songs like "Let's Talk This Over When We're Sober and Not at Burning Man" and "I Almost Stole Some Weed from Todd Snider."

If there's a word that sums up this folk singer from the City of Roses, it's "Zen."

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