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Rock with a Warm Heart and a Blue Collar

One of the few bands to improve with every album, Centro-Matic makes room-filling country-pop that's been winning converts for more than a decade. In "Patience for the Ride," Will Johnson's gravelly, intimate voice sounds warm and inviting -- a perfect complement to the fuzzy classic-rock guitars that surround him.

Hailing from unglamorous Denton, Texas, the members of Centro-Matic are frequently celebrated as standard-bearers of blue-collar indie-rock, so it's no surprise that they find themselves at the top of their crunchy but comfortable niche. A hardworking band that gets by on hard labor and a down-to-earth personality, Centro-Matic plays songs with absolute sincerity -- often sporting non-ironic trucker caps in the process.

A beer-drenched rock anthem, "Patience for the Ride" explodes repeatedly with sweet pop bursts, its gritty country moments augmented by flourishes of gentle keyboards and chimes. It's heartfelt, superb songwriting, performed with chops to match its sugary, gratifying choruses.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Kathryn Yu
By day, Kathryn Yu is an Interaction Designer working for a marketing firm in New York City, toiling away at Web sites. By night, she's a freelance photographer and live-music addict. Her photography has appeared in publications like Pitchfork, Rollingstone.com, Thrillist, Gothamist, and more. She often forgets to blog at kathrynyu.com, and is also making a movie.