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JESSE ROYAL/Lily of da Valley: With all the white boys getting the blues these days, this set feels like reggae is the nu blues. Royal, already a You Tube star, is a pure reggae man but his topics fit well into blues and liberation. Polarizing music that's a tonic for polarizing times, you can't listen to this without rising up angry. Hot stuff that answers the question about where protest music went.

EXPANDERS/Old Time Something Coming Back Again V. 2: Even if you are a real reggae fan, this nu cat bunch goes deep into the genre's back pages for deep cuts you might be hearing for the first time. A new volume in their covers series, the skanking is mighty and this bunch knows how to deliver a lively set that's full of respect as well. Back in the day for those who weren't there the first time, this ear opening set does a great job of highlighting heritage as well.

HELIOSONIC TONE-TETTE/Heliosonic Toneways V. 1: Some time in the early 70s, I called Sun Ra's record company looking to get some promos. Ra himself answered the phone and proceeded to give me a lecture about why he shouldn't send me any free stuff. Even without handing out free stuff, his music lives on 50 years later with some of the cats from the original recordings on board joined by younger cats that certainly have earned a spot in this firmament. One of the original jazz malcontents, Ra was always out there, and his stuff remains out there. The prototype for the art jazz the self indulgent would beat to death in later years, this is out sound music well geared to out sound ears. A wonderful recording that remains the province of the few.

TOM SAVAGE/Everything Intertwined: Coming on like a rocking, later day Townes Van Zandt, Savage colors outside the lines with tales of those living beyond the margins. Every generation needs one who holds up the fun house mirror to the absurdities and this is a cult hero for our times.

Volume 40/Number 329
September 26, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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