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Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009

Paul Cebar

One Little Light On (Groovesburg Joys)

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Paul Cebar is usually thought of as a bandleader, exploring Afro-Caribbean-American music with the Milwaukeeans and—in an earlier epoch—the R&B Cadets. But Cebar began as a soloist in the late ’70s and in recent years has opened for Nick Lowe, Chris Smither and others with just a guitar in hand. One Little Light On represents his solo acoustic avenue with emotive, intimate originals and a few well-chosen covers. Cebar collaborates with several Milwaukee-rooted songwriters, including Peter Mulvey, Tony Jarvis, Willy Porter and Paul Finger. There is an echo of Jonathan Richman here (“Can’t Blame a Lover”) and antique blues there (“It Done Fell Off”). Mostly, One LittleLight On shows Cebar as a distinctive songwriter in many formats.