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NPR Music

Cristina Vane, 'How You Doin''

With its mid-tempo shuffle propelled by an insistent slide resonator guitar, you might guess that Cristina Vane's "How You Doin'" is inspired by years of experience playing juke joints in places like Mississippi or Texas, not London or Venice Beach. The former two locales produced inspiration in the form of two of Cristina's heroes — Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson, respectively — while the latter two places are actually where she cut her teeth. Having grown up between England, France and Italy before moving to the U.S. at 18, Vane seems unlikely to have become a torch-bearer for American roots music. But "How You Doin'" is no exercise in pretension: It shimmies with head-bobbing Delta rhythm, augmented by its harmonica vamp and Vane's confident slide playing. Vocally, she articulates the song's theme of boredom and anxious longing with both a husky low end and honey-sweet high notes. "How You Doin'" is from her second album Make Myself Me Again, out May 20 on Red Parlor Records.

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