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ACTING NATURAL: A return to 60's garage rock that's simple and direct loaded with the kind of heart and soul sincerity that makes this something special. A return to fun? One can only hope. This kids have something special on the ball and they know how to rock. Well done.

ANDREA MARR/Natural: If soul is your goal, then this is your foal. Blasting out of the speakers with an extraordinary Tina Turner energy, this gal from Sri Lanka is cooking with the gas on so high that you have to figure she's from down south Sri Lanka. Writing them as well as singing them, this gal is a cooker throughout. Utterly killer stuff that just doesn't know when to stop.

WARLOCKS/Vevey: Nope, it's not a long lost Dead session, this is a live one from neo psych rockers that are making LA scenesters cream their jeans. A solid bet for down cast hipper than thou's, you have to wonder when the young people are going to do something about having so much to be pissed off about rather than just stand on the sidelines and whine.

NATIVE MEETS LEE SCRATCH PERRY/Black Ark Showcase 1977: Reggae recorded 40 years ago and still sounding futuristic today, this bunch did everything they could to push the envelop. The public might not have been ready as they were catching a fire and jamming--and they still might not be ready today---but if this didn't predict the mash ups to come, nothing did. Utterly crazy stuff that you need to catch up with.

ROBIN COX/Ghost of Time: Ah, think back to those world beat violinists Zappa and McLaughlin tried to introduce you to back in the day. This is like that, but not really. A progressive cat that mixes his violin with electronics takes you to places you thought only you dreamed up. Going solo after many years of being a group member, the pent up ideas come bristling out in a next wave, ECM kind of way. Tasty stuff left leaning ears won't do without.

EXPEAR/Vesper: Vet Swede jazzbos link up for a set of left leaning jazz that makes you think and feel as you let it play. Not easy stuff but not atonal madness, this is cerebral jazz for those that like a solid side order of meaning with their tunes. Solid genre work.

DOLLY PARTON/I Believe in You: So, here we have Dolly making a kid's record, looking like a granny that says don't call me granny and singing songs like "Chemo Hero"? The times they are a changing. Can Dolly pull off a kid's record? Hell, under all that make up she's still a kid at heart and the kids know it. Sincere stuff that doesn't talk down to the kids, this well wrought set goes the distance and mom and enjoy it in the car shuttling the brats to play dates etc.

LORENZO FELICIATI/Elevator Man: Here's a prog rocker that sounds so much like he made a date with King Crimson's Ďand friends' squad that you have to look at the label twice to make sure Trey Gunn and those cats aren't lurking in the shadows. The record firmly goes it's own way but if that's the vibe you like and you want the journey to continue, this new side road offers great delights to the hard core that want more.

RUDD-VICTOR-HARRIS-FILIANO/Embrace: The vet trombonist lines up some fellow hell raisers and what do they do? They kick it out on a slew of oldies they perform old school style, but not quite. With the requisite left leaning touches on board to let you know you're listening to something straight recorded with a wink, these are a solid set of after hours tunes for your fave lounge on Mars.

RICK BERLIN w/the Nickel & Dime Band: Local Boston hero that knows what it is to soldier on in the rock wars is doing it his own eclectic way after years of being a local legend and knowing what Bostonians want to keep the party going. Much more in touch with younger tastes than you might expect from a cat that's been at it over 40 years, this might just prove how eclectic keeps you young.

PASCAL BOKAR/American Shores: We can always appreciate a new kind of mash up that works and Bokar is presenting us with Afrobluegrazz. With t hat Mali kind of sensibility working it's way through various shades of Americana, this is delightful listening for adult ears looking for that hot, new kick. Skilled at all levels of the game, this has got more eclectic bounce to the ounce that you might be expecting. Fun stuff throughout.

MICHAEL TRACY/Still Got Soul: An atavistic look back at the cusp when the better bar bands became arena rockers, Tracy is doing it his way after rubbing elbows with AOR greats and solid southern acts. Heartland/roots to the rocking core, this is fist pumping, young hormonal release music that hit's the target as squarely as one can when they want to move pop music past something more than beats by committee. Check it out.

THIS PALE FIRE/Alchemy: Ah, twee singer/songwriter material from down under that is not music to have a beer and toss a shrimp on the bar-bie to. Not as conducive to making you gargle with razor blades ala Leonard Cohen, this is more likely to make you gargle with Drano.

Volume 41/Number 6
November 6, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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