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ODD DOGS/Beneath the Surface: These chop laden LA first call cats could have easily fought off boredom by ripping out a high octane fusion date but a lot of thought went into this set before the players even gelled on who would be in the group. Going in the other direction, this is a highly angular date that raises the bar for sitting down jazz forcing you to get in the moment with them and follow where they lead. Complex playing that never let's the wheels roll off the rails, it's not egghead enough to be thinking man's jazz and it's a ride well worth taking.

LAUREN HENDERSON/Riptide: Henderson changes it up once again with a jazz vocal date for #metoo times that finds her taking a world view that probably represents her busy schedule. With a world fusion melding into mash ups that give the lyrics a different slant, Henderson is showing off her hat collection here as she's wearing them all at once and wearing them well. Interesting stuff throughout.

REGINA BONELLI/Love Letter: A Brooklyn born, Italian white girl with the blues should fittingly write a blistering #metoo song called "Don't You Put Your Hands on Me". The only thing that could have made it more authentic would be if she wrote it ‘dirty hands'. A blistering bad girl that raises the roof, this is modern stuff looking at the future with a sharp eye and deep down voice that hit's the target. Hot stuff.
(True Groove)

KING JAMES BOYS/Time to Go Home: A nice solid, right in the pocket traditional bluegrass/gospel set powered by hot picking and loads of sincerity. Tasty stuff genre fans can easily pass the word on.
(Pinecastle 1220)

FARM HANDS/Good Things: It's not sacrilege but this sounds like bluegrass gospel as filtered through Kinky Friedman--just the kind of tonic to bring new, young ears into the tent, and not just on Sunday's. Solid pickers really turning it out throughout, this is the fun kind of set that get repeated a lot and makes friends easily. Well done.
(Pinecastle 1225)

RICHIE COLE/Cannonball: When you've got chops like this and nothing to prove, you can make a tribute record like this and everyone will know it's the real deal. Sax man Cole tips the cap to sax man Adderley, a bunch of first call cats are in tow and good vibes are flying for all. Smooth as Hennessey's on silk, this is a mighty set for classic sax fans that want to hear a tribute with no dust on it from one master to another. Hot stuff.
(RCP 3)

RON SPENCER BAND/Into the Blue: A brace of white boys with the blues that dug the masters as tyros have managed to turn it into more than a hobby keeping the classic boogie and shuffle alive in fine style. A meat and potatoes blues set that feels like it needs a showroom to go with it, these cats sound like they are more than capable at helping you lubricate the night away. Check it out.
(Real Gone 104)

DOUG WEBB/Fast Friends: With his sizzling sax as a calling card, he's become everyone's friend over the last 30 years of plying his trade. A real jazzbo no matter what chameleon turns he takes along the way, this set is pure uncut daddio jazz the way it's meant to be heard and played. Solid stuff throughout from Webb and his equally talented pals, this is going to be a go to set much they same way he's a go to player. Killer stuff.
(Posi-Tone 8187)

MIGHTY QUINN & TH EOAKLAND RONIN: With Dylan references, throwing stars, political diatribe and plenty of punk tude, this set is here to exclaim that punk is alive and well, maybe even more fueled by times that some of the young are none to happy with. This is the sound of the suburbs that's coming to be coming out of isolated, pissed off bedrooms for sure.

BOB THOMAS/Shadows: Beyond Michael Martin Murphey, Ian Tyson and even Don Edwards, there lives cowboy music so deeply western is might as well come from as far west as Japan. Thomas exemplifies that sound and you can practically hear the campfire crackling in the background. With all that, Thomas acknowledges the encroachment of Walmart parking lots on the open plains and ain't too happy with the department of interior as well. This is some smoking real deal stuff that hits home---on the range. Well done.

Number 41/Number 350
October 16, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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