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COYOTE POETS OF THE UNIVERSE/Strange Lullaby: The Colorado jam band that nobody can seem to pin a tag on is showing the 60s are alive and well. All the young ‘uns miss the point in that there's a Jefferson Airplane meets a ‘we ain't commercial' hippie 60s vibe colliding here that makes it all feel like an acid trip. Mixing in some 60s roots music to complete the effect, this is a great two disc soundtrack for those times when you want to know how it feels to get small and get mellow. While this is no recidivist, hippy dippy trip, it's prog psychedelic chops may want to make you frolic naked in the mud uncontrollably or inexplicably. Crazy stuff that's a wonderful antidote for crazy times.
(Square Shaped 106)

JIM ROBERTS/Tao of Time: If there was more hippie in Jim Webb than a fondness for weed, this might be what he would have turned out instead of "Highwayman". Fashioning his work as viewed through a sailor of time and tide, this drummer drums up a wild ride inspired by a project that brings Nobel laureates to the schools. Relying more on prog lyrical conceits than bombastic chops, I guess you could call it thinking man's prog. Quite the wild trip regardless, this is a solid trip down the rabbit hole for left leaning tastes. In addition to all that, Bekka Bramlett, Jim Hoke and Victor Wooten are hiding out in the grooves.

THOR/Christmas in Valhalla: A head banger's holiday record, Thor claims to have wanted to make an xmas record for 40 years. He doesn't blow his opportunity. An all original set, if there was a Beavis & Butthead V. 5, they would surely be celebrating this set made specifically for them and their pals.
(Deadline 1014)

JOY TO THE WORLD-A Christmas Celebration/various: Putumayo doesn't restrict themselves to one country this holiday season as they take it around the horn, including a yes mon version of "Frosty the Snowman", before bringing it all back home with Leon Redbone. Nothing radical here but it shakes the dust off the holiday music shelf nicely no matter where it touches down in the world for a few minutes. Smartly programmed, this set grabs your ear nicely with a proper holiday vibe.
(Putumayo 374)

LISA HILTON/Oasis: Leading a trio this time out, the jazzy piano lady takes it old school with a cool school set that feels like it was birthed in one too many late night clubs where the vibe is low key and the notes getting you bobbing your head involuntarily. Well versed enough that these originals keep fooling you into thinking this is the kind of stuff you heard your grandpa grooving to when he thought he was a hipster, we once again have proof how mighty chops and good taste are. Another winner from the winner herself.
(Ruby Slippers 1023)

OLD RILEY & TRHE WATER/Biting Through: Nawlins white boys with the blues rock bug step up with a debut full of joyful noise kicked off with some Willie Dixon before launching into the originals. Suitable for several kinds of parties, this party on a platter knows how to get things started with the proper amount of choogle to light the fire.

KERANI/Small Treasures: This time out the keyboard ace comes in with a fully developed set that comes across as a new agers vision of a pop/prog set where no bit of white space goes unused. Going well beyond this simple bounds of new age or girl friend music, this is more like where Enya would have gone if she was still in the game. Well wrought and well crafted, this is sure to get Kerani any accolades she hasn't gotten up to now. Possibly her career defining set.
(Kerani Music 1810)

PAZ DEL CASTILLO: Tres-Best of: Summing up her career to this point, del Castillo is just one of those instrumentalists that has the touch so right, they don't need any coloration to make the journey a worthy one. Diving in on the piano and making it sound all too easy, this skill is what takes you to the places and things that have inspired her to chart this course. A lovely piano album that doesn't need any genre tag other than great instrumental music, this is a mighty set that goes the distance. Well done.
(Borderline Music)

MINDI ABAIR & The Boneshakers/All I Got for Christmas is the Blues: The saxy lady gets fully in touch with her own soul here fully shaking off any doubt that a major label created her to be a Candy Dulfer manqué. Bringing home the blues for xmas, adding some of her own tunes to xmas canon, this is as gritty and down home as it can be since it was recorded in 2018 rather than 1968. Unabashed blues rock with an industrial edge, this is what you want to have playing if your bonus isn't what you expected and you are having a real Griswold xmas. Killer stuff.
(Pretty Good for a Girl 2)

JACQUES SCHWARZ-BART/Hazzan: Talk about a record for the anti-midterm elections, this funky Black Jew leads a jazzy crew through a bunch of traditional Hebrew melodies that you wouldn't otherwise recognize and kicks intolerance through the goal post of hell in his own unique way. Wild stuff that takes world jazz to places you never would have imagined.
(Enja 7789)

Volume 42/Number 1
November 1, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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