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Best Country Band (Alternative) 

Bad Folk

If Jay Farrar didn't exist, Tim Rakel would've had to invent him, and he'd be the first to recognize Farrar's influence on his bleak and oblique leftist songwriting and his dour, peripatetic moan. And if Rakel's band, Bad Folk, has clung to the raw country punk Farrar has largely abandoned, its members find new ways of torturing their instruments until all the clatter, clang and twang of old-time country turns into something like barn-damaged agit-prop rock. Sometimes Bad Folk sounds like Dock Boggs fronting the Violent Femmes, sometimes like a Salvation Army band that's traded horns for pedal steel. They're noisome, unpretentious and nothing if not unpredictable.

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