Producer (group): DMZ

Ollabelle might be described as gospel music for Norah Jones fans. That’s no epithet, though roots purists may object to how smoothed-out this young Lower East Side sextet’s modernized blues spirituals get. Theirs isn’t the most wrenching ”Soul of a Man” imaginable, but the collective’s soothing covers of African-American traditionals (and the Stones’ ”I Am Waiting”!) feel perfectly legit – and lovely – in their own right. If this gospel happens to be Starbucks-friendly, well, God works in mysterious ways.

Originally posted March 12 2004 — 12:00 AM EST

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