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"Turning up my guitar, standing up on the stage/I'm just trying to raise ghosts up out of their graves," declares Dave Alvin on the album-opening title track as he resurrects and celebrates some bluesman forebears. Throughout Ashgrove, he testifies in a voice that's clearly seen some ghosts, grown stronger because of it, and is bound and determined to sing about 'em. It's an album coated with emotion, with Alvin at his most moving when he sings of the simple but soul-lifting power of music on "Nine Volt Heart" and when he depicts his late father's struggle with Parkinson's Disease on "The Man in the Bed."

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