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Singer/songwriter John Magee has been knocking around the Boston music scene since the early nineties and the first single by his band Sugarburn. But for the past couple of decades he’s been the engine running Scrimshanders, a late period alt.country band that recalls the best of the genre (i.e. remembering the “rock” portion of the “roots rock” occasion). Songs That Never Were collects the highlights of the band’s two LPs (2000’s Longneck and 2008’s The Way You Never Are) for a consistently strong platter making the case that the print edition of No Depression should be revived just to write about this band. Magee and his various cohorts don’t push any envelopes, mind you – if you’re into this style of music, you know exactly what you’re getting with its countrified melodies pushed into the rawk zone, and its carefully wrought lyrics. But roots rock/alt.country/whatever is mostly song music, and Magee proves himself really good at providing those – check out “SKMW,” “”She’s So Safe” and “The Man You Want to Kill” for excellent examples. Songs That Never Were proves to be songs that will stick through time.
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