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CORY WEEDS LITTLE BIG BAND/Explosion: The industrious Mr. Weeds looks around and finds some of the big band albums he enjoys weren't done by big bands at all. Enlisting the talented locals, he comes in with a big band date that's powered by power instead of size and knocks it out of the park on oldies that are well done rather than over done. Right in the classic pocket, the gang is on point throughout delivering a mainstream dream date. Hitting all the right notes throughout, this date is a stone cold winner.

J.C. HOPKINS/It's a Sad and Beautiful World: It's not enough he has a great vitae, Hopkins had to go pull in Band members, folkies and jazzbos to help him serve up this Woodstock centric singer/songwriter date that plays like some of the classic stuff that came out of there in the early 70s---without a drop of self consciousness. Not really an organic/back porch date so much as an off the beaten track date, this set mightily opens the jaded adult ears and provides a sumptuous buffet done right. Check it out.

TRAVIS BOWLIN/Secundus: A growling blues rocker shows his debut was no fluke. A high octane party animal that makes no statement other than ‘let's party', he knows how to get the blood flowing and keep it moving. Total fun throughout, he's a comer that more than has what it takes.

JOSH MODNEY/Engage: Never a label to shy away from pushing the limits, here we find them releasing a three disc set of solo violin by one of the cats fond of pushing limits. Bleeding edge contemporary classical material, this is a continuation of where Zappa left us at the end of "We're Only in it for the Money". Made up of three separate programs, expect never to cover the same ground twice.

DAVID CROSS/Crossing the Tracks: Although the King Crimson violinist is the named artist, what happened here is that the producers gave him finished tracks and told him to finish them off. Take that Lindsay Sterling! A different kind of collaboration of sorts, because prog can get pretty amorphous, there are no real rules and it all fits together no matter how differing it gets between here and there. Wild stuff that'll turn prog heads in a different direction while not getting too far away from home.

WE BANJO 3/Haven: Excuse me Eddie Murphy but the boys are back in town---these boys. Prime movers of Celtgrass, studio album 4 finds them sure to go to the top again with no signs of slowing. Adopting a world ethos, you can't call these lads just Irish music types and you can't call them world beaters either. Since a lot of the original hillbillies were from the British Isles anyway, this is why there's so much of back porch feel to this. Organic in the best way at every turn, this is how modern folk music should sound. Hot stuff by a crew of great instrumentalists.

Number 41/Number 247
July 5, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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