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Preview: Alvin Youngblood Hart

The bluesman plays a July 2 engagement at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

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"Good morning Judge, what may be my fine?" Alvin Youngblood Hart cries on "Judge Bouche" to open Down in the Alley, his 2002 acoustic covers LP and a modern classic worth revisiting. It's as fine a blues charge as has ever been written, and though the Oakland-born, Delta-bred medium-of-a-man owes the words to Walter "Furry" Lewis — who first recorded them in 1928 but, as the blues go, likely owes them to someone else — the wails belong to Hart: at once fiery and broken, up in the heavens and down in the dirt. (The answer's a straight killer: "50 dollars / 11-29" — the former equivalent to no bail, the latter one day short of a year's sentence, hence no parole.) Hart works magic on the 11 other standards and rescued obscurities, too: lifting "Deep Blue Sea" with plucky banjo and a busking croon that fills the room; imbuing "Chilly Winds" with hearthlike warmth. There's no denying the force of Hart's electric guitar work, but his touch on these unplugged strings sends off sparks. Tickets $12.50, free for members of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

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