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Whether thanks to her own sensibilities or to the time she
Saturday, March 8
1719 Blanco Road
spent in Chicago's eclectic and sophisticated music scene during college, she avoids the kind of exaggerated mannerisms and hokey themes that plague so many aspiring troubadours.

The folk-phobic will have a hard time picking bones with Claire Holley, her first release on Chapel Hill's cool Yep Roc label; tastefully arranged but never sterile, it's an elegant setting for an unpretentious storyteller. Holley's voice is high and clear, the kind of gently rural croon that has been so good to Shawn Colvin, whose fans will almost surely take to the Yep Roc disc. With an upcoming slot at South by Southwest and a new disc due in June, this might be a good chance to catch Claire before she catches on.

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