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David Hakan

In Midtown


As its title -- and such lyrics as If you eat at Chubby's late at night, I'll bet you live in midtown -- suggests, David Hakan's latest work also pays homage to Kansas City's vibrant midsection. Unlike Priolo, Hakan condenses his tribute to the area into one song, the solo acoustic title track, which goes on to describe the Westport area as where creative, unique, artistic, and cantankerous folks are found. Such lyrics might be easier for local listeners to relate to, but they're far from the only clever content on an album that also contains a poignant tribute to a dearly departed family member and his dog ("Socrates and the Angel of Death") and a cautionary tale about the "Flood of '93." Although Hakan handles much of the instrumentation on the disc, which compiles 13 of his songs written between 1993 and '98, he does get stellar assistance from fiddle and banjo players on the country romp "We're Gone" and from vocalist Lezlie Revelle, who adds fire to both "Shawnee Farm" and the album's finest tune, "Coyote Song." On a few songs, a chorus of local artists who participate in a local showcase known as the Songwriters Circle joins in on the harmonies. On the tunes that are, for the most part, just Hakan, his guitar, and an easy-going melody, the songwriter receives a subtle but effective boost from an accordion or cello. To paraphrase Hakan, if you enjoy country-tinged folk, I'll bet you'll

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