JIMMY CHARLES/Hard way to Go: Dandy ep debut of a hard rocking country boy with a conscience on the side finds him going from American Idol to credibility in one small leap. Solid, hard hitting contemporary stuff that reflects the modern reality of country music without going soft in the process. Bodes well for hot things to come.
A LIFE IN YES-The Chris Squire Tribute: Billy Sherwood rounds up a large and diverse crew to do the right thing for the memory of his fallen comrade, bass player Chris Squire. Rounding up the gang to kick it out on Yes songs that are identified with Squire, the heart felt matters are front and center making this more than just something to slap a name on and flog. Yes fans will enjoy the new dimension brought to the classics, giving them a fresh spin. Well done.
(Purple Pyramid 914)
STEVE BONHAM and the Long Road/Girl With the Rattlesnake Heart: I was almost a little nervous about approaching something calling itself renegade Anglo Americana, but I guess everything needs a label. Covering John Hartford and recording at Fairport
Conventions studio took away some of the fear. He's a first rate storyteller in the Rambling Jack Elliot tradition, just rocking up the down home vibe. Solid stuff for those who miss meaty songwriting, this'll bring home the prize.
STEVE BONHAM & the Long Road/Reliance: On this outing, Bonham and the gang are way more back porch than on his other outing. This is a skin he really wears well as it comes closest to sounding like "Morning Bugle" as anything we've ever heard. Organic chops abound and a good time is had by all that like looking out at how the back 40 sounds. Killer stuff throughout.
RUTH WYAND/Tribe of One: This voodoo chile is one killer breath of fresh air. A one woman band, this white girl with the blues writes and sings like you haven't heard in a while and she's got the non stop chops to pin your ears back---in a good way, in no time flat. This one person tornado is a tribute to the human spirit showing just how far you can go when you take off the only limiting force----yourself. If you think acoustic folk blues isn't your thing, this set will change your mind. Totally killer stuff throughout.
CARLA CAMPOPIANO TRIO/Chicago Buenos Aires Connections: A totally joyful world jazz flute date from an Argentinean lass who wound up in Chicago immersed in jazz blues and tango taking it all back home to record a heartfelt set that just plain stares it through the goal posts without having to kick it. Engaging and tasty throughout, this is a wonderful ear opener that really goes the distance.
SIMONE KOPMAJER/Spotlight on Jazz: From Austria she came and she's our kind of thrush. A jazz vocalist that captures the classic vibe whether swinging to Duke and Benny or pulling the songs out of her own songbook, it's a real treat to find someone this spot on that knocks it right out of the park in such an engaging fashion. Any jazz vocal fan that doesn't fall under this set's spell should think about getting some meds and getting them adjusted. Hot stuff and then some.
KEVIN BURT/Heartland & Soul: A virtual unknown when he hit the stage at a recent International Blues Challenge, he'll blow you away the same way he blew that audience away and the Little Village bunch so much so that he got them to make a record that had to be made that falls outside what appears to be their comfort zone. Sort of a throwback to the 70s when a bunch of stuff could be stirred into an elixir and served up in a commercial form while retaining it's roots, there's just no words for this set other than OMG! Real rocked up soul blues that never picked cotton but is still totally authentic and charming. Hot stuff throughout.
(Little Village 1025)
Volume 42/Number 19
November 19, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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