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JAMIE KALLESTAD/River Songs: Is there always going to be a new Dylan looking to escape from Minnesota? The harmonica, the guitar, the early wizened vocals, the feeling of isolation? Where's Suzi Rotolo when you need her? This cat may well be well on his way to bringing it all back home.

SERGEY SCHEPKIN/Bach-Six Partitas: Clearly, Schepkin is Bach's new best friend. Seemingly making it his life's work to breathe new life into Bach's piano works, the legend and legacy continues here on a 2 disc solo reinvention of the Partitas that is both faithful and modern at the same time. A sensitive and engaging work throughout, this is the perfect recording for a Sunday afternoon when you just want to slow down without being sensorily deprived. A acoustic reading that stands head and shoulder above the pack, recordings like this can bring new classical fans into the tent. Hot stuff.

THIS FRONTIER NEEDS HEROES/Real Job: Going for a more alt.Americana sound after spending four years away from the studio and almost all of it on the road, this duo is certainly road tested and has a feel for what younger Americana tastes are going to cotton to. Posited somewhere between folk and shoe gaze, this is nu protest music for the times we're in now where everything is up for grabs.

KEY & PEELE/ the Complete Series: It might have taken two comics to replace Dave Chappelle as the funniest man on the planet, but this dynamic duo has capably done the job across their five seasons. While Chappelle had no limit to his reserve of bombast, K&P have no limit to their supply of subversiveness which gives this show a different flavor. Despite being up for a slew of awards and winning a tony one like the Peabody, there's an insider feel to it like you're at a special party no one else knows about and the invitations are limited. Saying and doing things you can't believe they said and did, K&P keep you on the edge of your seat so you don't miss an inflection (even if you can hit the rewind button) which further drives a feeling of intimate spontaneity that further drives their humor. A welcome breath of fresh air that needs to be heard, 19 hours with these bad boys is way too short a party. A killer laugh riot from the first minute to the last.

CRIMINAL: Kevin Costner seems to be following the trajectory of aging actors looking to stay relevant by jumping right into the role of the penultimate bad guy and going to town, loving his work. Powered by a memory transplant that goes to work in opposition to his own memories which are still in force, the bad guy has to use the powers of the good guy to stop the ultimate bad guys who are much worse for the world than his anti-social psycho. Slam bang stuff with an A list cast that pulls their weight, action/thriller fans will love this thrill ride as it careens along without tipping it's hand what's around the next curve. This disc makes for a fine night in.

Volume 39/Number 261
July 20, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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