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MYRIAD 3/Moons: It's been pointed out to me that the difference between US arts council music and Canadian arts council music is like the difference between Mercury and Pluto. And now I'm jealous. Canadian arts council music is intended to foster a healthy arts scene promoting depth and diversity. US? Meh. Once again starting with improvs and ideas, the band road tests the material shaping the sound of jazz for tomorrow. A blisteringly original date that shows how hard work really does pay off, if this left leaning date isn't the one that puts them over the top, they've gotten that much closer to the bulls eye once again. Killer stuff throughout.

BRIDGET KELLY BAND/Outta the Blues: Kelly really finds the meat in her métier here with equal parts languid and equal parts soul wrenching pulling at you from both ends, sometimes in the same song. Coming across in totally assured fashion, this white girl has a deadly serious case of show blues and knows how to show it to best advantage. She's just making her blues crown shinier with each successive release and this keeps the chain going. Well done.

U.K. SUBS/Friends and Relations: We're living in punk rock times so how can anyone think punk rock ever went away? This Subs anthology is something different. When they say unreleased, they mean it in a deep fashion including cuts form other groups that these members would have in their wake. This certainly fleshes out a picture of one of the seminal second wave punsters. Hard and heavy but tamed by time into not seeming so menacing, plant that sneer on your kisser and plug in your air guitar, set to 11 of course. Retrospective? It pretty much doesn't sound like one. Hot and heavy to the max.

LORETTA NOTARESCHI/String Quartet OCD: OK, I'm out of my wheelhouse here. A highly accomplished muso gets a case of post partum depression with a side order of OCD after popping out a shiny, new young ‘un. Then, she turns to music to pour out her feelings coming in with something that's somewhere between crime jazz and Boulez. Bet all you freaked out distaffers will find something in this Alfred Hitchcock/Twilight Zone music that'll reach that place you want to crawl into as well. Not making light of it, it's like I said, this is out of my wheelhouse. Relax though, this progressive date isn't ego/arts council driven pots and pans music.

LAST DITCHES/Spilt Milk: Take authentic punk rockers, mix them with certified prog chops and the result sounds like...neither? The amalgam is loud and proud power pop that colors outside the lines when it needs to and lets it emotions spill over like.... spilt milk. This sounds like a return to the late 70s to what was bubbling under on the indie labels of the day when the majors weren't paying any attention and the suburbs weren't exactly turning their backs on corporate rock but were losing interest. It's like Dictators 2.0 but played seriously and taken seriously.

TERCETO KALI: Just like the first time you heard Ottmar Liebert, McGuire blows you out of your chair. Blending jazz guitar trio with his passionate flamenco flawlessness, you have a stone cold winner/killer diller date here that makes the hairs on your arm stand up. Smoking genre stuff that any fan will tell you how much it cooks, this is the forceful kind of date that can handily bring newbies into the tent. A solid set throughout.

JELLY JAM/Profit: What's the world coming to when members of Dream Theater, Dixie Dregs and King's X find enough of a middle ground to turn in a classic sounding prog rock date that sounds much like a lost artifact from the 70s? Chops without the thunder thud and strum without the drang, this is classic Beavis college music done right. Check it out proggers.

MICHAEL McDERMOTT/Willow Springs: A ‘comeback' album like this makes you want to shake McDermott and ask why he had to be his own worst enemy. With Dylanesque vocals and writing that can have him following in Loudon Wainwright's footsteps forever, this is a real contemporary folkie set that hit's the target and slays all the pretenders. Hot stuff that acoustic singer/songwriter fans will utterly flip for . Well done.

BABOONS/Spanglish: Nothing at all like you would expect. These long time South Florida all stars pay tribute to the diversity and gumbo that make up contemporary Miami. Don't be fooled into this thinking this is a Spanish crossover record as it starts out with belly dance riff and genre blends everything it can think of from there. A first class wild ride, this is nu world beat as you don't have to leave your armchair to cover the globe at once, often all at the same time. Skilled and skillful, this crew leaves no stone unturned in their quest to put it all front and center in sonic ways you wouldn't believe. Killer stuff.

WILLIE MAY/Blues Mona: For those of us that haven't been checking out the Buffalo blues scene for the last six decades, this white boy with the blues is a fooler. The name and title had me thinking that was some old black woman that's been a local celeb for years. Wrong. This is a white boy that appreciates Otis, Bobby Rush and others that kept the chitlin circuit in business for years. A real growler that could be at home in the south or west side of any town where the blues are alive and well, this expertly played set is as gut bucket as it get and knows just how to keep the good times rolling even when the waters take a serious boil. A sterling example of the fun side of the blues by one that really knows his stuff.

Volume 39/Number 194
May 13, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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