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John Doe: The X Man Goes Back to Roots

John Doe.
John Doe.

Ever since co-founding the L.A. punk band X 30 years ago, bassist, songwriter and actor John Doe has been considered one of the most influential figures in alternative rock. In his best-known band, Doe brought a country and blues sensibility to a sound and scene more widely associated with abrasive punk, and he's continued in that vein as a solo artist.

Following X's dissolution, Doe released his solo debut, Meet John Doe, in 1990. Widely praised for its inventive songwriting and raw honesty, and for its authentic country sound, the disc established Doe's post-X potency. Unfortunately, it didn't prove his commercial potency — it was a slow seller — but Doe continued to write and record music throughout the '90s and '00s, as he temporarily reunited with his old bandmates in X and acted in films like Salvador and Boogie Nights.

Doe's new album, A Year in the Wilderness, is a collection of rootsy rock that calls to mind some of his finest work. While the album features an impressive roster of collaborators, the spotlight remains on Doe's singular songwriting and strong vocals.

Copyright 2007 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.