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Universal United House of Prayer

Lead Performer: Buddy Miller; Producer (group): New West

If anyone else covered ”With God on Our Side” for an album of spirituals, you’d figure he missed the memo delineating Dylan’s gospel and protest periods. But Buddy Miller means to strike a cautionary note about misguided wartime zeal before resuming a mostly original set that otherwise does run closer to Slow Train’s best tracks (and not just because Dylan’s ”Christian years” vocalist Regina McCrary is featured here). However in love with Jesus the songs on Universal United House of Prayer are, this alt-country hero’s nervous, pit-of-the-stomach blues guitar solos unmistakably root them in dangerous times.

Originally posted October 1 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT

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