MICHELE D'AMOUR & the Love Dealers: Wiggle Room: Recording for her own label, this white girl with the blues shows she was inspired by the same red hot blues mommas as Bonnie Raitt but she doesn't have label geeks showing up with notes telling her what to so which is probably why she won John Lennon song competition last year. Walking through doors opened by Lavay Smith and others a few decades ago, this sexy, sassy set shows how to really get it done. Fun stuff that really delivers the goods.
JOHNNY & the Headhunters/That's All I Need: A mash up in it's own way, this itinerant white blues boy guitarist soaked it up in Chicago, Texas and other places and serves it up in a gumbo of the best of the best. Having rubbed elbows with some of the masters along the way, he keeps the tradition he loves alive with his brand of electric blues (as opposed to blues rock) and tips his hat here to those who showed him the ropes. Solid stuff that has a uniqueness not to feel like a tribute or journey though the past, straight ahead blues is alive and well here. Well done.
HAYDEN SAYERS/Dopamine Machine: A bad ass white boy with the blues is one of Houston's top guitar slingers---and shows here it's with good reason. A high octane shredder that keeps it simple but knows how to deliver pissed off hard rock for aging children came, he shows how much power there still is in the basic power format. Hard hitting stuff that'll wake up dormant corpuscles.
(Blues Is Art 3672)
HAYDEN SAYERS/Acoustic Dopamine: Here's an ambitious move for you. Sayers hard driving, electric set had so much energy that he also released an acoustic version of it that might not have the fury but it still captures the fire. If you want something that's a hard hitting contemporary statement that's hiding out as back porch music (but really isn't), this is a fine way to get all the musical vitamins you need without worrying about stomach upset.
(Blues Is Art 2268)
RAINBOW ROCK BAND/Total Eclipse of the Rainbow: This award winning kiddie rock band is led by a special ed doctor that always wanted to rock out. Parents will enjoy this in the car because it's alt-y enough to remind the more of "Zoom" than "Sesame Street". Sure to get the kids amped up enough that they'll forget you didn't let them have any sugar, this set will probably even afford you a good night's sleep without slipping the wee ones some benadryl. Well done.
(Del Ray Rocks)
STIMULI/They Are We: Prog power trio that gets extra points for hating lawyers, their riff isn't about changing the world, it's about making teen's world's less bleak and less feeling alone in the wilderness. Not bad ideals. Speaking a bunch of basic truths, their lyrics are as hard hitting as their sonic assault.
ERIC MOE/Uncanny Affable Machines: Just to make easy jumps here, some times it feels like progressive music is divided in Steve Reich and everyone else. Moe definitely falls on the Steve Reich side of the line. A long time progressive music staple, this cat is wonderfully adept at not making an extended drum solo sound like pots and pans music---a feat that gets him high marks on that alone. A left leaning ear opener that wondrously invites everyone into the tent, be careful falling in love with this because that will open your ears to too many manqué. Killer stuff that feels like thinking man's music for is really fun for all.
(New Focus 212)
FOR PEACE BAND/Always Love: First we have to deal with white boys with the blues, now have to deal with award winning skankers from Guam. With a vibe very much like the reggae bands Island hovered up in the wake of Marley's success so carpetbaggers wouldn't flood and confuse the market, a lot of those bands weren't second tier and this one isn't either. Keeping the classic vibe fresh and alive, this is a great soundtrack for firing up that chronic you've been saving for a special occasion and enjoying the mellow. Irie throughout.
(Rootfire Cooperative 11)
LAWRENCE LEBO/Old School Girl: The iconic sounding opening riff underscores the truth of the title of this set. A Los Angelino that loves Stax so much that some of this was recorded in the old stomping ground area, she might have let being a mom come first but it hasn't dampened her love of the deep blues she delivers with more passion than a white girl should. Loaded with classic moves throughout, there's no reason this shouldn't become a classic in it's own right as well.
(On the Air)
SUSAN SHANN/Reckless Abandon: Kind of a new agy singer/songwriter, Shann finds that sweet spot where she can write a song about her personal politics without preaching and kvetching along the way. Able to pack more words in three minutes that most can, there doesn't feel like any wasted words in the lyrics making her an anti-Hemingway of songwriting. Going back to her acoustic roots, this is music that'll give you a lift and make you think.
Number 41/Number 277
August 4, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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