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ANNE HILLS/Points of View: The memory grows dim. Was Hills this political back when she was in Evanston? After a bunch of detours around the board, Hills returns to her own originals and delivers a timely folk pop outing for those that like to think along with their folk. The old time spirit of Joan Baez is alive and well.

PETE SEEGER/Live in Ď65: Pretty much all you need to know about this two disc sets is that itís an unreleased 1965 concert with Pete Seeger front and center in his post black list prime. You get ďAbiyoyoĒ instead of ďWe Shall OvercomeĒ and other than that, what else is there to say? A timeless extravaganza of the real Ol Man River at the top of his game half a lifetime ago (literally), folk fans are sure to consider this the best find of the year. A real winner.

KOTTARASHKY/Opa Hey!: Hey college kids, there are malcontents the world over. Kottarashly is a traditional gypsy musician that likes to genre bend as much as you do. He starts with the real deal and splices everything including the kitchen sink into the mix making this a great soundtrack for those new mushrooms your room mate just got hold of. The soundtrack for an unmade Fellini movie, this is wild sound scape collage artistry that obviously isnít for everyone but is tailor made for those for whom dada comes as second nature. Nutty without being precious, itís a must for the highly left leaning open eared.

LE VENT DU NORD/La Part de Feu: One of the nice things about world beat in the hands of gringos is that we might not know what the hell is going on, but we know if it sound nice or not. Ah, music as the universal language. Here we have a bunch of Frenchies from Canada giving us some kind of history lesson---in French, so what do we care? It sounds nice. We know it has something to do with traditional music and this crew plays it most capably with enthusiasm so since they are such happening cats, we happily urge you to use this as a springboard for your world beat needs and tendencies. Itís a charming set with lots of energy and solid chops. Check it out.

ROGER SALLOOM/Last Call: Hey, pally, you had us at Bekka Bramlett (she shows up for background vocals). This used to be called singer/songwriter but with some off beat instrumentation in the background, now itís Americana. This cat has been around for ever, youíve probably never heard of him, and now heís making a late career run for the roses turning out some dandy adult pop that just might be radio ready for the satellite/internet radio era. A classic back porch record brought forward for contemporary times, this is the off beat winner youíve been on the look out for a while. Well done.

THE PEACE: Hmmm, if Gil Scott-Heron was Richie Havens but still kept his Heron-ness, you would have what The Peace is. Called Hip Folk because itís a cross between hip hop and folk, the ghost of Phil Ochs hovers. Oh, the times they are a changing!

SEAN COSTELLO/Seanís Blues: A memorial collection that has enough unreleased material to make a whole extra album of itís own, Costello was a youngster that burned brightly quickly and was a proud follower of the urban migration blues tradition. A fellow traveler of many of the contemporary hot shots (Susan Tedeschi even turns up on the unreleased tracks), they loved playing with him, he reciprocated and it shows throughout. A fine introduction and send off to one of those who should have been a long time luminary.

CARLOS BARBOSA-LIMA/Meringue: Essentially renown as a classical guitarist, Barbosa-Lima takes a wildly unexpected detour into what is a pop album for him. Exploring the jazz and pop of Ibero-America (Brazil to you gringos) with the eye and touch of a master, this is not your typical yuppie, brunch world beat outing. A deep recording that isnít work to listen to, itís a killer audio travelogue into the heart of a sound not often explored in this manner. Heís been at this for over 50 years so you can be sure he knows what heís doing and youíre in good hands. Check it out.

Volume 32/Number 360
October 26, 2009
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
©2009 Midwest Record

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