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Diane Izzo
 
Local singer/songwriter had her debut album, One, recorded by industry bigwig Brad Wood -- one of his few indie rock-paying gigs in several years -- for local up-and-coming label, Sugar Free Records. She is joined on the record by Jim Becker (guitar, mandolin, organ), Eddie Carlson (bass), and Ned Folkerth (drums, percussion -- also a member of Las Toallitas) and special guest, Blue Note recording artist Fareed Haque, who apparently was recording in the adjacent studio and just wandered in...

Her brooding introspection has been compared to Patti Smith and Bob Dylan. She's got a powerful voice and a commanding stage prescence and the debut is marked by solid songwriting. Her voice is deep and husky. All in all, one of the best first efforts out of the Windy City in a long, long time. One hopes we'll be hearing more. Chances are we will -- she's been taken under the managerial wing of one of Chicago's rock giants, Metro owner Joe Shanahan.

Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times have given indications of calling her the "next big thing." The Chicago Reader's Peter Margasak disagrees, saying "she still walks the line between emotional intensity and mawkish melodrama in amateurly sloppy fashion..."

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