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GRAHAM NASH/This Path Tonight: How is it these Brits like Nasher and Basher keep these full heads of grey hair well past the point of the rest of us losing...never mind. Dealing with some unexpected late in life changes, Nash's first solo set in many years finds him serving up songs for aging children come that are dealing with more than just underwater mortgages. The multi hall of fame member has nothing to prove and does a fine job of making music right from the heart that young whippersnappers will think no one cares about but him. More than just a bunch of songs before he goes, these certainly aren't songs for beginners that need a soundtrack for the many miles they plan on riding the southbound train before they're done. This is how adult, mature pop is done right.

ANDY McKEE/Live Book: A contemporary acoustic music guitarist with the balls to call his label CGP, and have the balls to back it up with results, is well worth your attention if you don't know him yet. Right in the Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Tommy Emmanuel et al pocket, McKee and his guitar are all that's needed to fill you ears with wall to wall sound that hit's the right notes. Acoustic guitar can get labored when not done right and this set has simple, subversive chops to spare easily propelling it to the ranks of a genre classic. Hot stuff.

WILL MAGID/Alligator Spacewalk: The trumpet playing ethnomusicologist that doesn't believe in being boring sets sail from his San Francisco base to Mars, and at least warns you about this up front. Head music for eggheads that aren't really proud of it but have no choice, this is a wild, wonderful mash up, genre blender of a set that has everything you'd expect a progressive jazz club on Mars to sound like. A killer of a good time for left leaning tastes that don't recognize boundaries, this is one cat with his hand on the wheel that you think is going to run off the rails but never does. Killer, wild stuff.

JOE BONAMASSA/Blues of Desperation: Kind of like prog rock selling out arenas in the 70s with the mainstream not noticing, Bonamassa has been selling out arenas with his shredding and the mainstream hasn't been paying attention. While delighting his masses, Bonamassa has been honing his chops all the while. This set is a bunch of killer, white show blues rock where he takes it to the next level of the game to the point that the mainstream will have to pay attention. A totally accomplished, high octane date, this is what rockers come to hear. Hot stuff throughout.

PETE SEEGER/Pete (Pete Pak): Originally recorded when he was a mere sprat in his early 70s after having been ignored by the recording industry for almost 20 years, Seeger's long time friend and fan, Paul Winter, set up the mics and facilitated the recording for the set that would get Seeger his first Grammy. A set as timeless as the old gent himself, it sounds as fresh today as it did them and maintains it's impressiveness, pretty interesting since most of these songs were from Seeger‘s back pages to start with. This is billed as a Pete Pak because it includes a DVD of previously unreleased performances that go back more than a few years but are still charming and engrossing nonetheless.

LOUISIANA SOUL REVIVAL featuring Doug Duffey: Here this Duffey cat has been around since the 70s, is already in several musical hall of fames and you probably don't even know him. Shining the light on the regional north Louisiana music scene, this long term funky bad boy steps up with a solid party set that doesn't quit. Digging into his trunk for some songs that r 2 good 2 b 4gotten, this groove meister/master knows what the funk is all about. A totally tasty workout.

NAFTULE'S DREAM/Blood: The bunch that gave John Zorn his original kick in the pants to start a radical Jewish music label comes back with their first new recording since 2002. The interceding years haven't had them missing any steps. Using klez as their jumping off point to points unknown, this is the place to go when you want free jazz to take you to the middle east for musical mystery and intrigue. It might not be for everyone, but for anyone that likes a middle eastern bent to their jazz, this ear opener is just right for that armchair traveler. Wildly intriguing.

NELL ROBINSON & JIM NUNALLY BAND: Super sweet organic, back porch sounds that seem to have an old timey vibe, but not really--along with a bluegrass vibe, but not really either. Basically an acoustic music crew that digs country and folk and doesn't try to hide it under roots and Americana penumbras, this bunch will ping down home chords you probably didn't even know you had.

SANTANA IV: Yeah, it high time they quit their evil ways, ending the separate journey and go on with this thing. The original Santana bunch reunites like the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock is right around the corner and picks up where they left off, bringing Latin jazz/rock to the masses. Adding sights and sounds from the places they've been on their own in the last several decades to the mix, it's in the pocket and contemporary at the same time. There's no dust on them and if you though they lost their way after the butterfly took off, they prove they don't need anyone pushing collaborative guest stars to push them to the top once again. Hot stuff the way original fans like it.

HOUSE OF LIES The Fourth Season: The grand guilty pleasure for anyone that ever thought everyone involved in high finance was a bunch of carpetbaggers and whores is going to get off on this new batch of episodes in which every taboo that ever was is gleefully smashed asunder. Based on a book by a survivor of this stuff, anyone left of Bernie Sanders will rollick their way through this 5.5 hour presentation and be sad when it's over. Producer Don Cheadle is on to a modern classic here that will outlive "Dallas". Crack open the shrink wrap and let the back stabbing begin!

Volume 39/Number 192
May 11, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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