PETER ROGAN/Still Tryin' to Believe: An Americana cat looking every inch of his workingman 57 years old takes it back to the day when he was a carefree youngster opening for Doc Watson and Tom Paxton and reaching for the sky. A few life changes later, he's still punching in at the mill but he's letting the song out of his heart. Like the northern migration bluesmen who did what they did but not who they were from 9 to 5, Rogan knows his craft and propels his art. Like the steel forged in his mills, Rogan's works are burnished with the kind of adult vibe too often missing today. An aspirational set for the kids, this is easy rolling adult pop that hit's the sweet spot with room to spare. Well done.
BEVERLY CHURCH HOGAN/Can't Get Out of this Mood: So what separates this nice looking lady from the rest of the pack of nice looking ladies that surround themselves with top jazzbos, sings the classics and chestnuts and knows how to wrap a song around her little finger? How about she's 83 and put her career aspirations on hold for 60 years to let life run it's course. Edging her jazz into cabaret territory without the sad old Marlene Dietrich effect, it's a real treat to finally hear what we'd been missing all these years, without even knowing it. In recent years, she's become the hostess of an annual LA jazz event that originally put her in contact with John Proulx who shines here as a producer that knows how to make Hogan shine. A great jazz vocal date to start the year with.
VIN MOTT/Rogue Hunter: The thing about being a young white boy with the blues is that you can genre splice your blues with abandon leaving only a trail of influences only moldy figs would take the time to pick apart because you're playing the blues; just like when a guy won't stop clicking the remote because he's watching TV (not the shows). A big lunged boy that blows that harp while letting fly on fun originals that he's got plenty of wind left over to sing properly. This is a stone cold winner for people who want to hear blues that's a stew of the best parts of all their fave styles sweetly mixed up all at once into a cool, new whole. Well done.
TOMISLAV GOLUBAN/Chicago Rambler: A white boy with the blues that's so white he's from Croatia comes to Chicago to blow his harp on tape and blow it with a passion that blows past going back to the sources that inspired Butterfield. Playing and singing like he learned his craft at Teresa's before the 60s white boys discovered it, the Mississippi/Michigan connection have nothing on this cats passion. A fine outing for the real blues fan.
JASON RINGENBERG/Stand Tall: One of the original grandfathers of alt.country was content with having aged out of the star maker machinery part of the music biz and was living his life when he got the chance to be an artist in residence at Sequoia National Park where he could sing and play whatever, whenever he wanted. And the juices began to flow. Convening with a bunch of similar Nashville cats in his original southern Illinois stomping ground, it only took them a few days to bash out some rocking alt.country that doesn't feel like it was made by someone who aged out. The disc kicks off with some Marlboro man music that gets your juices flowing but barely sets the table for what's to come. I guess old pros are the best pros. Killer stuff throughout all on his first record in 15 years.
(Courageous Chicken 16)
Volume 43/Number 69
January 9, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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