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ERNIE KRIVDA & Swing City/Bright & Shining Moment: Cleveland's long time national treasure seems to be thinking about his legacy here as the sax ace widens the lens to take in a big band playing in traditional, swinging jazz style. With a checkerboard mix of classics and originals, they stand side by side flawlessly and really get the party started and going strong. More mainstream than you might imagine him to be, this set packs all the punch you could want and delivers it right down the middle. Hot stuff.

DEWEY & LESLIE BROWN/Under the Mountain: In the fine tradition of family bluegrass bands, this sidekick of Ralph Stanley and his missus subtly modernize old school bluegrass while keeping it real. Backed by a fine crew that understands the goals, this is the kind of first class set that brings new ears into the tent, often with amazement. Tasty stuff for everyone from moldy figs to newbies.

DUSTIN DOUGLAS & THE Electric Gentlemen/Break It Down: Electric power trio white boy blues brought forward to the 10s, they are powered by ground breakers of the past and like their amps amped up. Toward the minimalist side, they stop short of being headache music and let the chops speak for themselves.

SYLVIA/Second Bloom: After a well received, well conceived comeback album, Sylvia re-examines her back pages giving contemporary takes on the Fleming/Morgan songs that got her here in the first place. A nice selection of greatest hits brought forward, this is no gift shop record as she's pays the attention to detail that Tom Collins did when these were produced the first time around. A really sweet valentine to old fans and more.

ROSS BENNETT/Not if You Were the Last Man on Earth: He might look like a schmendrick but he brings the laughs and he turns up anywhere a real stand up would want to. Armed with a skewed view of contemporary issues, he has the needle that knowingly finds just the right spot to really let the air out of things. Trying to posit himself as an everyman with a bird's eye view of things, he's' got way more than that going on, hitting on screwy things and knocking them down like a kid with a baseball bat hitting mailboxes from a passing car. Just the right antidote for the times we're in.

KRISTINE LEVINE/Hey, Sailor: Coming across like a real life Roseanne, and doing it without artifice, this put upon domestic goddess that's had it with everything goes for the throat in ways the networks would never let anyone do it, which is why she's on cable in "Portlandia". Hard core down and dirty stuff that tickles the funny bone almost to the point of breaking it, this is a laugh riot that really spills out into the street.

Number 41/Number 200
May 19, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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