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Album of the Week: Testify by Annie Mack

Our album of the week comes from Minnesotan and blueswoman, Annie Mack, who has released an EP titled Testify

Originally from Minneapolis, Mack now lives in Rochester and has played throughout the country at clubs and blues and jazz festivals. She was even featured in the book '50 Women in the Blues' alongside legends like Bessie Smith and Janis Joplin. Testify is Mack's debut as a co-producer with Matt Patrick, who has worked with musicians like Reina del Cid, jeremy messersmith, and Cory Wong. The two had started pre-production on the EP when the pandemic hit, so they called it off. Once George Floyd was murdered, Annie reached out to Matt and decided it was time to move forward (in a COVID-aware way).

Annie said these songs were her 'defiance to murder and death being used to silence and instill fear in Black people.' She wanted to create something strong, beautiful and Black from Minnesota. 

The musicians on the EP are some of the best from our state: Jeremy Ylvisaker (Andrew Bird, Jenny Lewis, Justin Vernon, Annie Humphrey) Noah Levy (Mason Jennings, Mandy Moore, Brian Setzer) and Aaron Fabbrini (Romantica, Vicky Emerson). Though only five songs, the EP stands alone with strong songs, gently moving from blues to rock, country and gospel. 

Check out the EP here, and let us know what you think!

The music director at KAXE since 2014, Kari (pronounced Car-ee) Hedlund reviews music on the daily. She also hosts New Music every Wednesday (2 and 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon), along with the KAXE Morning Show on Thursdays.