While legendary Soviet-era rocker Boris Grebenshikov remains a vital post-perestroika singer/songwriter internationally, this survey of Russian song specifically explores his most deep-rooted Russian

While legendary Soviet-era rocker Boris Grebenshikov remains a vital post-perestroika singer/songwriter internationally, this survey of Russian song specifically explores his most deep-rooted Russian inspirations, both in songs by himself and by such preceding Russian singer/songwriter luminaries as Alexander Vertinsky and Bulat Okudjava. Selections include "Vanka Morosov," from Grebenshikov's 1999 album The Songs of Bulat Okudjava; four tunes culled from his 1992 disc, The Russian Album; the traditional "My Little Loom"; and a new studio version of "Tarusa," previously available only in concert recordings. Accompanied by his historic Aquarium band, the acoustic-fueled disc is exquisitely arranged to focus on the soft-spoken, soulful quality of Grebenshikov's singing, backed by mainly folk instrumentation including guitar, accordion, horns, reeds, and, in "Garcon No. 2," steel guitar. With lyrics available in four languages, the set is a valuable introduction to both Grebenshikov and his influences.—JB

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