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Jim Hoehn

Royalty Check Hotel

Jan. 19, 2010
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Former Journal Sentinel reporter and author Jim Hoehn releases an album every few years, whenever he has amassed enough songs to make it worthwhile. Hoehn’s varied styles, more or less Americana, expound on themes of making music and making escapes from everyday dreariness. Polka, country, lite rock, Herb Alpert Latino brass lounge and other flavors swirl around vignettes of amusing and amused characters.

Hoehn sounds as if he sings and writes for his own pleasure above any other consideration. His is a folkie's voice adapting to a myriad of genres, and the overall combination works more times than not. Guitarist/producer John Inmon pulls it all together for an airy, concert-sounding disc. My thought is that Hoehn comes off better in a live setting than in a studio, but albums such as Royalty Check Hotel will prepare showgoers for some of the fun that should ensue.

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