Knuckle Down

Ani DiFranco

For those of you who’ve wondered who this “righteous babe” Ani DiFranco is, her latest CD Knuckle Down reveals so much that’s personal, you’d swear she’d laid herself prostrate before the microscope of gazing tabloid paparazzi. Her signature syncopated guitar beat provides the foundation upon which is built sly, rhythmic and moody jazz/rock riffs furnished by singer/songwriter Joe Henry, who co-produced the CD with Ani (see the cut “Modulation” for Henry influences). There’s little political fare here; instead you get the reflective Ani, the second-guesser Ani, the vulnerable side of a revolutionary female artist who has taken on the music world and lived to tell about it. Dedicated to the memory of Dante Americo DiFranco, Ani’s father, the disc bares all. This CD will go down as a watershed in her career, proving a willingness to grow musically and tearing down (however momentarily) the proud veneer of a crusade rocker. Knuckle Down yourself and pony up the few dimes and quarters that it takes to land this landmark release.