Here in alt-weekly land, we're typically way too cool to prop out artists that come straight out of the Nashville star-making factory, which is why

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Just Julie

A little love for a mainstream Nashville star.

Here in alt-weekly land, we're typically way too cool to prop out artists that come straight out of the Nashville star-making factory, which is why you won't find Julie Roberts on many Top 10 lists this side of Tennessee. Roberts, who mainly trades in slickly produced (but not too slickly produced) country weepers, occupies the twangy (but not too twangy) nether-region between Faith Hill and Lori McKenna -- right alongside the likes of the way-overhyped Tift Merritt ("next Lucinda Williams" my ass).  If I had to come up with a Top 10 list for 2006, Roberts' "Men & Mascara" would definitely be on it, as would Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris' sublime "All the Roadrunning."

 
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