Marlee McLeod

The pop-rock recordings of Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Marlee McLeod usually include just enough twangy color — via pedal steel and mandolin, mostly — to mark her as a fellow traveler of the alt-country and Americana crowds. On stage, though, she’s far more likely to strip things back to the power-trio essentials. There, McLeod’s fresh, buoyant voice delivers songs heavy with wordplay and lessons learned over a backdrop of propulsive grooves, jangling electric licks and other robust musical hooks. In a better world than ours — one with a God, say, or at least one without Clear Channel — McLeod’s “In the In Between,” from her fine new album Like Hollywood, would be blasting from car radios all summer long.

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