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November 10, 2005

{     Thao Nguyen "Like The Linen"     }    

thao1.jpg Since the age of twelve Thao Nguyen worked at the family laundromat; cleaning, making change, and most notably, folding the linens (hence the album title). Over the course of that time she also managed to learn to play guitar and write songs...and thank god she did. I try to imagine walking into that laundromat in suburban D.C. and hearing Thao's delicate voice and the gentle strumming of the guitar chords and I can't help but think how I would've undoubtedly became a stalker of sorts. With clever lyrics and catchy guitar melodies Nguyen crafts songs that range from the country tinged "What About", to the lounge flavored "City Sky"...but she's at her best on straight-forward folk songs like "Hills", "Tallymarks", "Chivalry", or "We". Lucinda Williams, Beth Orton, Cowboy Junkies, and Erin Mckeown are amongst her influences and you can definitely detect hints of all of these artists in her music, but filtered through a voice that is all her own. Like The Linen is a compelling look at a genuine singer/songwriter who pours her heart into every phrase. Go purchase the album from so that she can get the funds to come out (to my neck of the woods) and tour L.A. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at Caffeine-Headache.net.

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