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ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION/This is the Life I Choose: Yes, you can be a belter serving it up hot and heavy without having to follow in Janis' footsteps. The proof is in these grooves. With a crew behind her that is versed in rock/jazz/blues with loads of funk in between, they tear it up like them got them old kozmik blues again but want to stick around long enough to enjoy them as well. Kick ass, high octane stuff delivered by a woman that knows what she wants. Hot stuff throughout.

DAZED HARROW/Gaeseki Dream Machine: Sinister ambient from South Korea, any self respective witch core fan will know this is the real deal. More a soundtrack for wandering subway tunnels than "Freddy and Jason go to hell" music, there's an accent on melody and craft here as opposed to a run of the mill sonic attack. A sure bet for those in the know, something out of the ordinary for those who aren't.

MIKE LONGO TRIO/Only Time Will Tell: You know you are dealing with a real pro when they can make treacle like "Tomorrow" sound like something you want to hear more than once, and that's just how he kicks it off on this new piano trio date. A jazzbo of over 50 years standing, this set goes deceptively way beyond the cocktail jazz casual listeners may decipher it as and into a realm of real mastery. With trio mates that share Dizzy affiliations with him, given the chance to be real jazzbos, they all deliver mightily. A swinging and meritorious recording throughout, this is one of those sets that remind you of why you first started listening to jazz. Hot stuff.

COREY LEDET & His /Zydeco Band/Standing on Faith: Just like Buckwheat took it from Clifton, Corey takes it from Buckwheat and builds on his Grammy nom momentum to take it over the top this time around. Bringing the swamps into modern times with pop touches from quadrants foreign to traditional zydeco, even though that remains as the base it all springs from, Ledet brings heat for all the bon char's feet if their boys are smart enough to take the cue. Fun stuff that almost finds him being the James Brown of zydeco for what he's done to the sound, this is fun stuff that'll have you stepping right in step with the times. Fun stuff throughout.

JENNIFER TEFFT BAND/Cutting for Stone: You know this belting Boston babe but you don't know why because all the shows that have used her music force you to go to the website to check out the credits---and who really does that but uber fans----of the show. The kind of all inclusive package for anyone too young to really appreciate Heart, there's loads of hard rocking here and it's coming at you from right don't the middle. Having a mastery of how to make commercial chops not sound contrived, Tefft is making a great under the the radar career happen and it's fun to join her on the ride. Solid stuff throughout.

SHARON PAIGE &KEITH INGHAM/Burke Beautiful: One of the great soundtrack aces of the mid 20th century, Burke seems to have been over looked in the great gold rush to mine Porter etc in recent years. Thanks to this duo for blowing the dust off things. Not only is this a trove of great songs that shouldn't be forgotten but Paige as a voice, nuance and presence that gives great, new live to these songs. Must hearing for anyone that is looking for a great song experience and not just a trip down memory lane. Well done.

JIM GUSTIN & TRUTH JOES/Memphis: A 30 year vet of road warriorism, Gustin and his bunch are white boys and girls with the blues--and a real bad case of same. With road tested precision, this bunch that has played with everyone under the blues sun growls their way through the show blues side of things with a solid dose of being entertainers at the core. Not really sounding like they are from sunny California, maybe all the years they spent working on their neon tans gives them the authenticity to make their sound authentic. Killer stuff for blues party people that really want to get down.

DELTA MOON/Cabbagetown: Confessional blues rock? These award winners, fresh off a hot shot Euro tour reconvened in Georgia to do just that---righteously. A nice, solid set of heartland roots rock, this is the antidote for anyone that wants some straight up popular music that has more to offer than samey same beats over and over and over. With road warrior/bar band confidence, these cats deliver the hot stuff and keep the party moving and grooving in fine style. Well done.

LISA SANCHEZ-JON ERIKSEN QUARTET: Leave it to working Bay area jazzbos to know how to make a comfortable set that somehow finds samba, Sinatra soundtrack work and "Frasier's" closing theme all reside easily next to each other. With club tested chops at the core, this crew knows how to get and keep attention focused until they are ready to end the proceedings. There might not be any rough edges, but you cant really call this smooth jazz. Call it a good time that keeps going long after the record is finished. Well done throughout.

ERIC BIBB/Migration Blues: Bibb is one of those cats that could sing the list of chemicals in toilet bowl cleaner and make it sound compelling. He gives us a lot more than a list of toilet bowl cleaning chemicals here. Focusing on the pain of migration, no matter what era and who's doing the migrating, Bibb delivers a compelling set that sounds traditional and modern all at once. Low key throughout sounding like it was recorded down home and organically, the words and the voice are at the core of this gem and they will bowl you over even if you are the most casual acoustic blues fan. Killer stuff that's sure to make his mantle a bit more crowed come next award season. Well done and mighty throughout.

TWO TRACKS/Postcard Town: Rootsy folk rockers that should easily win over fans of The Kennedys, this bunch might have a few more pieces in the mix but the warm, inviting vibe that makes the Kennedys feel like old pals is in bold evidence throughout. They know how to turn it up and they know how to lay out, all in the right measures practically making this a set that's in synch with your own body rhythms. Solid stuff throughout hat's loaded with real music for real, hungry ears. Well done throughout.

BILLY PRICE/Alive and Strange: Pittsburgh's white boy with the blues probably listened to as much Stax when he was a kid as I did. He knows his Otis even if he feels more like the MGs when they were backing everybody. You really have to love it when a crew hits it out of the park like this one does, delivering the southern soul that was hiding in their souls all along. A winner throughout.

LOS STRAIGHTJACKETS/What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straightjackets: After three holiday tours with Nick Lowe, it dawned on the masked marvels that it might be time to do a surf, instrumental guitar tribute Basher and the legacy of fine pop he's left in his wake over the last 40 years. Unmistakably Basher with the unmistakable stamp of the Straightjackets, you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't already a fan of skewed pop. Dick Dale and the Ventures have to be kicking themselves for not thinking of this first. A solid fine time in the tradition of both participants from top to bottom. Get on board.

Volume 40/Number 136
March 17, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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