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ANGEL FORREST/Electric Love: One of Canada's national treasures, Forrest looks back at 30 years of being at the top with a double live set that captures her energy and vibe in fine style.
A blues rock belter that can rev it up or purr like a kitten, she shows you how to rock and mean it. A killer introduction to anyone that needs one or a first class refresher course in why you dug her in the first place, there's no way blues rock fans aren't going to love this.

ARTUR MENEZES/Keep Pushing: If a Brazilian guitar slinger can win an Albert King award, we're paying attention. Easy going show blues/rock, this cat has an easy grace that pulls you in before you know what happened. An award winner that makes it on chops and not hype, this is kind of date real muso ears will appreciate. Well done.

SPENCER MACKENZIE/Cold November: Still in his tyro years, this Canadian blues award winner shows he knows his Stax and Muscle Shoals moves and is keen to expand their vocabularies. Channeling Albert King, this guitar slinger wasn't born under a bad sign and brings the good vibes for all. A new generation of blues rockers is knocking at the door here.

SAMANTHA MARTIN & DELTA SUGAR/Run to Me: One of those big voiced blues rocking gals that tore it up a few years ago right out of the box returns with a big sound to match her big sound. A show blues belter at her core, this blue eyed neo soul set hit's the target time and time again as it plays. Unmistakably hot stuff, there's a wealth of Canadian artists that simply know how to bring the heart these days. A winner throughout.

JIM WHITNEY/Dodecahedron: A superstar in the bass world, Whitney delivers his long over due debut in fine style. A pupil of Dave Holland early on, he learned well from the master and took things forward into his own dimension as well. Certainly not aiming to create pretty music for the people, this is an adventurous set that explores the possibilities the stand up bass still has yet to unfold. Cool stuff that's decidedly not for hipsters but people that want to hear what lies in the land beyond the radio band.

JEFF JENSEN/Wisdom & Decay: A modern white boy with blues rock roots that doesn't need no stinking rules, he comes loaded with enough authentic southern soul to take you on a tour of the south for the last 50 years, sometimes all at once. A party animal that loves to turn it up and rock it out, this is the kind of party on a platter you want to have handy when you want to be sure the party gets rowdy. Solidly fun stuff that lets the shredding commence.

CRYSTAL SHAWANDA/Voodoo Woman: Being at the leading edge of the third generation to come along since Janis died and the second generation since Koko Taylor died, Shawanda finds the sweet spot to merge the two and make the vibe her own. A full throated blues belter that knows how to hold a crowd in the palm of her hand, if she'd learn Howlin Wolf's real name, she'd be perfect. A smoking, wang dang doodle of a set that doesn't know how to cool it down---she needs to bring the heat to keep her Canada from freezing over. If she can heat up those northern nights, imagine what she can do with the rest of the world. A first class raver.

GOLDINGS BERNSTEIN STEWART/Toy Tunes: Relax and enjoy the latest from a trio of hitters acting like a bunch of journeymen enjoying the life of ease as an unassuming organ trio with so many chops to spare they make it look and sound so easy---deceptively so. There is so much good stuff here to explore that you just cant take it all in at once--even if you think you can. Clearly, this is a set for the ages.

MYSTERIES OF THE NIGHT/Alive Inside the Tank: New age/Native American sounds that are squarely made to feed your head. Mediation music that's sure to make you go within, this was recorded in a place that takes sound itself to someplace else. Certainly for adventurous seekers, this goes well beyond mere girl friend/yoga music and into other realms that save you the need to take acid trips. Wild stuff.

TAS CRU/Memphis Song: He started doing this as a break from his bbq sauce business and now he's a first class white boy with the blues. A modern rocking take that stays close to the true vine, he makes no pretense about who and what he is and delivers like a champ. Sure to be an inspiration to white boys with the blues that just don't get shoe gaze, this is the sound of being down so long that it looks like up but sung by one who doesn't wallow in it. Solid stuff for people that just don't care about the top 40 but want to hear something solid that works.

Volume 41/Number 185
May 4, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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