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BYRON METCALF & JENNIFER GRAIS/They Were Here: The way the department of the interior is in favor of turning wild horses into dog food in Mexico, this is a great protest record for our times, especially if you like horses. An impressionistic set of sound celebrating horses past and present, it's new age alright but a clearly new vector. Let's keep those wild horses out on wild horse road and make sure they are more than a memory a year from now. Support sets like this that support the majesty of these fine creatures.

TERRA GUITARRA/Spirit Wheel: When you have a guitar duo that plays real nice, it's always an inspiring wreathen they manage to top themselves with each new release. Playing at a level where they have nothing to prove, they prove it anyway and take their artistry to the next level of the game. A killer set for acoustic guitar fans.

EMILY BURGESS/Are We in Love?: An unstoppable, rising Canadian guitar goddess really kicks it out here after showing what she's got along the way to now. Loping along like the great Texas singing guitar gals before her, you wouldn't know she's from the frozen north---obviously she really heats it up. She started with blues but who knows where she'll take it or end up. This is how killer debuts are made.

NEIL TATAR/After the Rain: With Will Ackerman producing at Imaginary Road and the old gang dropping by to add some licks, there's no shame in calling this a classic Windham Hill Record like the kind they made before Steve Backer showed up with dreams of Hollywood to sprinkle in everyone's eyes. Gentle stuff that's never drippy, it's all skillfully written and played sure to take you back to the day with out a drop of false nostalgia. Killer stuff from a multi instrumentalist that knows his stuff.

NEW FACES/Straight Forward: With all the times these players have played on each others records and were referred to as the Posi-Tone All Stars, ist time a blowing date like this came to be to showcase the label, it's depth and it's personalities. A full on blast of classic daddio vibes and real jazz, this is the kind of set that shows off everyone in fine style and really stakes it's claim. A killer set whether the cuts are old or new.

RED BLACK RED/Resettlement: Jersey hard rocker picks up the electronics and delivers an electro version of shoe gaze--with jangly edges.

JANE LE HOOKER/Spirit Us: With no gimmick going for them other than a cool name, this distaff bunch of blues rockers take it back to the day when Heart was a bar band and crank it up to 11 just to show they can. Predating riot grrls vibes, this bunch is here for the party and they are the ones throwing it. Fine, hard blues rocking throughout, this shows their impressive debut was a mere hors d'ouver. Killer tasty stuff throughout that warm sup the cold winter with power to spare.

BERNARD ALLISON/Let It Go: The German label that was started for his daddy's benefit shows that the genes are still strong with the young ‘un picking up right where daddy left off. With the eternal kind of frat boy choogle at the wheel, Allison doesn't care for the frills when there's plenty of meat at the tale. Hot, hard-hitting stuff that rides the line between traditional and modern with style, this is as close as real blues comes to mainstream and party people are sure to follow in it's wake. Well done.

STEVE SAINAS/Simple as This: The Canadian songwriter/guitarist makes his new set a back to the land effort as it's acoustic and heartfelt. With the kind of lyrics that cut through the dross offered by too much of the human condition, it's stuff that makes you think and feel without having to peel away too may layers to get there. This is the kind of set that easily becomes an underground darling. And don't go thinking he's going to leave his award winning blues ways too far behind

MAGGIE VALLEY BAND/Hardest Thing: Amiable country rock with the Poco vibe and girl front people. Never falling into mawk and meh, this is a pleasing set that rolls along nicely delivering it's message that the sun will come up again tomorrow. Nicely done from a vibe that's been too long overlooked.

Volume 41/Number 78
January 17, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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