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Album release: "Live in Kalamazoo," by Megan Dooley

Cover art for Megan Dooley's "Live in Kalamazoo"
Paul Sizer
Cover art for Megan Dooley's "Live in Kalamazoo"

Live performance is at the heart of why Megan Dooley chooses to be a musician. In an age when albums can be made layer upon layer, Dooley thought the best way to make an honest representation of her songs was to record in real time in front of an audience. In back-to-back concerts at La Luna Recording & Sound last May, she did just that.

The new album, "Live in Kalamazoo," contains 11 songs drawn from her extensive repertoire, ranging from the Delta-blues influenced original "Glad You're Gone," to the reimagined classic "All of Me," to "La Vie en Rose," which showcases her beautifully-phrased whistling. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, they listen to these tracks as well as the story-song "The Camden Hammer," based on a real-life encounter over a game of pool with a boxer in Surrey, England. Dooley praises her band -- Mark Duvall, bass, Dan Stevens on dobro guitar, and Chris Miroslaw on lead guitar -- and the skill and oversight of La Luna's Ian Gorman, who engineered and co-mastered the album. In addition to providing lead vocals, Dooley also plays guitar and ukulele extensively in the recording.

The album is available online at Dooley's Bandcamp page, iTunes, and Pandora. She'll have physical copies available for purchase on New Year's Eve, when she performs at the KNAC Center as part of the annual New Year's Fest presented in downtown Kalamazoo. Her sets are at 6:45, 8:45 and 10:30 pm. Passes for the family-friendly festival are available at the New Year's Fest website.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.