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The Boston Globe

Music

Freakwater revives its off-kilter country

Catherine Irwin has just arrived at the Chicago home of her old friend Janet Bean. Friends since middle school and bandmates for more than 20 years in the on-again, off-again alt-country group Freakwater, they instantly fall into the jokey, easy­going rapport they’ve shared since their youth in Louisville, Ky., where Irwin still lives.

They’ll spend a few days rehearsing with longtime sideman David Gay, then hit the road for their first tour in several years, which stops at Johnny D’s on Sunday. It’s the 20th anniversary, give or take, of the Freakwater album “Feels Like the Third Time” — as good an excuse as any to revisit their endearingly off-center brand of traditional country music.

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