Ani DiFranco

Knuckle Down

Ani DiFranco surely has one of the best work ethics in the music business. Despite her almost constant touring, she manages to put out a record every year. On this one, she’s back to using a band, and the result is worth it. She’s got a couple of songs that really rock, including the title track and “Manhole.” There’s also a spoken-word track, “Parameters,” but it’s mostly music. Among the best is “Paradigm,” a folksy reminder of what democracy is really all about: a community deciding to take power over its own future. Another high point is the song “Recoil,” in which the funky beat belies the refrain, “nothin’ much going on.” Much less uneven than last year’s Educated Guess, Knuckle Down is DiFranco at her best.