Fans of the Oxford American
like to hate its editor, Mark Smirnoff. He repeatedly runs the magazine into the ground only to resurrect it after months of radio silence. But then he puts out something like the 2005 Music Issue
, and all is forgiven. An eclectic mix of obscure and not-so-obscure in "southern" music, from Erykah Badu to Bubble Puppy, the issue and accompanying CD are all about discovery, the warm amazement when you think, "Who knew Ricky Skaggs could rock?"