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J.J. VICARS/Irreverent Dissident: A blues rocking guitar slinger that doesn't want to follow any path but his own turns in a date like the kind your pop always raves about but you never heard of and can't even find on streaming services. A road warrior that knows how to please a crowd with ears looking for something meaty, this hard hitting set hit's the target for thrills, chills, fun and excitement. Check it out.

PATRICIA VONNE/Top of the Mountain: This indie goddess, an award winner in every discipline she touches, comes back from another foreign victory with album number seven, a set that finds her at her sexy, sassy brassy best yet. With helping hands from an all star alt.indie collection of fellow travelers, this sounds and feel like a break out album for the whole alt.Americana genre. Hard hitting throughout, Vonne knows who she is and it's time you found out too if you don't know by now. A real cooker from start to finish.

BRUBECK BROTHERS QUARTET/Timeline: Tipping the cap to their pop on the 60th anni of his state department tour, the kids know their dad well and give his classics a solid, contemporary workout that doesn't deflate originals in any way. Solid stuff for jazzbos demanding proof the apples don't fall far from the tree.

KID RAMOS/Old School: You haven't heard from this cat in almost two decades, and he's been through a lot since then, but he's back showing a real bopping daddio doesn't just roll over and go away. Most of the time, the grooves live up to the title but that doesn't make this dusty in the least. Fun, easy rolling bopping R&B/blues/rock, if this doesn't bring out your inner, late night Fonzie, nothing will. Well done.

FABIO MARZIALI/Windows and Lights: An Italian sax man with worldwide eyes and ears, hits New York running and turns in a stunning New York flavored set with some top jazzbos in tow. Right in that pocket between fusion and mainstream, the gang shows the leader's vision is a solid one. First class sitting down jazz that really gets the blood flowing.

SHIRLEY CRABBE/Bridges: This looks like it should be a gospel set but Crabbe is a first class thrush that lined up some first class jazzbos to gives some chestnuts a wonderful workout and airing. A straight up, straight ahead set that delivers the goods, vocal fans will give his high marks throughout. A winner.

MEG WILLIAMS/Maybe Someday: And #Timesup makes it's first right turn. Transplanted from upstate New York to Nashville, Williams brings along her white girl blues, complete with a right wing wonky look and some distinctly supply side sentiments. This is sure to shake your ears up and shake them loose.

KATHY & THE KILOWATTS/Premonition of Love: Running mates of 70s and 80s Austin cats, Kathy and her pals turn it up and let it rock. There's an almost sinister vibe running through the set that adds to the mystery of it all. Sultry in a hot box kind of way, the sex here drips freely and smokily. This sounds like the after hours joint you want to hang out at.

MICHAEL McDERMOTT/Out From Under: Fully realizing the dress rehearsal is over, McDermott finds his inner 60s Dylan with some Van Zandt leavening and serves up the album that would have defined alt.Americana if he delivered it 25 years ago. As gritty and realistic as a Bukowski screed, he hit's the nail on the head and the nail loses. An utterly fascinating set that captives the folkie ear throughout restoring the singer/songwriter mantle to it's former glories. Well done.

DETROIT BOP QUINTET/Two Birds: A two song tribute to some solid stuff Charlie Parker laid down in Detroit with Miles Davis in tow. Certainly better sounding than those poorly recorded Dial sides, this sonically clear journey through the past by contemporary pros is aces all the way.

YOUTH IN A ROMAN FIELD/Storm Conductor: Every once in a while, a group like this comes out of Chicago and this one is following that path. A string quartet with a malcontent chick singing at it's core, this is a mash up of beyond the pale styles that should go over well with wannabe Goths that don't like dark, heavy make up. A different trip to a different place.

Volume 41/Number 151
March 31, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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