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ALEXIS P SUTER BAND/All For Loving You: It's not heresy to say that this refugee from the Midnight Rambles is just the right person to follow in Koko Taylor's footsteps. You know if she sang about a wang dang doodle all night long, it would sound authentic AND she would know from whence she was singing. High octane roadhouse blues that would keep Fitzgerald's neighbors up for days once she started rocking the house in Berwyn this is deep and rocking at the same time, dis iz da blooz as pure and uncut as you can find. Hot stuff.

MIRAMAR/Dedication to Sylvia Rexach: Be careful what you ask for and how you ask for it. Two prime drivers behind Bio Ritmo decide to travel a different path and tip the hat to bolero mainstay Rexach, a big wheel little known outside Puerto Rico who has been dead for over 50 years. Am I complaining? No, it's just funny that I've been saying it's time for a Kurt Weill revival. Even though this music comes from south of the equator and is in Spanish, Rexach's sad boleros capture the spirit of Weill perfectly. And this duo delivers the material perfectly. The universe acts in strange ways. For what ever reason, this is the kind of sad music that doesn't depress you. An utterly lovely album for anyone looking for some serious listening that will take them someplace they haven't been, pour some brandy, put your feet up and let this dup work their magic. Well done.

CROWN JWLZ/California King: And for all of you who thought Lady Gaga was too commercial and sold out anyway, here's the alt.answer to your plaintiff cries. Jwlz has the chops and credentials to back up her bombast and she understands the new paradigm. Nu music for today's nu ears as delivered by a wealth of stone pros helping her out in the delivery room..

PAUL BREMNER/The Witness: If you're an IZZhead, this record will need no explanation. If you aren't an IZZhead, you'd need to familiarize yourself with their brand of prog rock to get it. The guts of it are about the guitar playing and the writing. With an alt.San Francisco vibe that feels like it came from the late 60s when the non-hard rockers were doing that era's brand of genre splicing, it's certainly music to feed your head with---even if you can do it these days with a prescription. Jam, man.

HITMAN BLUES BAND/World Moves On: Even if he only shows up for one track, you should check out anything Pretty Purdie shows up on. That said---lookahere, they gave a name to what we've been calling white boys with the blues that rock: modern blues. Well, that was easy. No matter what you call it or how you slice it, these boys boogie. If you have kids that ever wondered what the big deal about killer bar bands was, this is the place to kick start their musical education steering them to that place beyond electronic beats, you know to that place where people know how to play. Check it out.

CARLA HASSETT/+ Blue: A Brazilian singer that's been delivering the goods in the background for more years that anyone would care to think about, she's one of those pure muso types that can handle anything from jingles to deep soul and do it all on the natch. Making her 4th album a big, bold statement bursting with energy and emotion, Hassett is no mere Astrid Gilberto wannabe, she's the real deal all on her own terms. A smoking South American set that can't be pinned down but isn't all over the place, this is contemporary music from another place that simply hits all the right notes throughout. Killer stuff.

BRIAN CHARETTE/Once & Future: The guy that literally, actually and factually wrote the book about B3 will blow your mind right out of the box on the first track with the way he cascades notes on "Jitterbug Waltz". Whether you know anything about B3 or are a long time fan of organ trios, that track is all it's going to take to make you a believer and join the fun. A dead, solid killer of a set, this is gold standard after hours jazz that'll separate the hipsters from the real groove daddys. Smoking stuff throughout that never wears out it's welcome.

ROBERT REX WALLER, JR./Fancy Free: Oh those cow punks and their busman's holidays. Deep voiced singer Waller, on leave from I See Hawks in LA, hooks up with some like minded alt.country types for an album of covers by the greats and those that should have been. The theme seems to be these are songs Waller likes and you can hear how Utah Phillips and Bob Dylan can wind up next to Neil Young and Daniel Johnston with Willie's song about almost getting busted in Milwaukee with Paul at his side once they‘re all in Waller‘s hands. A sideways kind of outlaw folkie album that hit's the alt. spot right on target, this is one of those albums that shouldn't but delightfully is. Proof that sometimes it's just as important to know how to deliver them as it is to write them. Check it out.

Volume 39/Number 198
May 17, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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