NICK SCHNEBELEN/Crazy All By Myself: After grabbing a slew of blues awards, hitting it out of the park with his sibs out of the box and making waves with a pair of live album, now he's ready to really up the ante. Kicking it out with the A team of white boys with the blues, he serves up hard driving bluesed up rock in a most futuristic but authentic way. This is the stuff and all your faves are in effect rounding out the sound helping him take it to the next level of the game. A real killer throughout.
DENNIS BRENNAN & THE WHITE OWLS/Live at Electric Andyland: Blues soul and roots all come together here under the killer voice of a cat that's been at in in Boston since a little after they threw the tea in the harbor. A long over due debut, this cat could teach even Van Morrison a thing or two about blue eyed soul. With all the right moves in all the right places, this is a shining example of real music for real muso ears.
ROCKIN' JOHNNY & QUIQUE GOMEZ/Dos Hombres Wanted: A white boy with the blues that earned his stripes at Delmark and a Spanish cat that sings Sinatra with big bands found each other and found a way to tear it up all over the world with rollicking show blues that hit's the mark. Pure entertainment that really delivers, this is blues for good times by a pair of daddies that love their work. Delightfully hot stuff.
(Vizz Tone JB01)
RICH PELLEGRIN/Down: Some will call this enigmatic, some will call it muscular and angular and some will call it a wild mash up. It's all of those and somewhat some more as well. A lusty romp that never falls into the realm of being show offy creative for the sake of being show offy creative, this is more like a wild, magic carpet ride with complimentary mushrooms included. Strap your self in and let the good time roll---over you.
MIMI FOX/This Bird Still Flies: A solo guitar tour de force by one of the pre-eminent practitioners of our age, Fox gets back to her acoustic roots and takes you back to the 70s when solo guitar records like this that made your jaw drop came along a lot more frequently than once in a blue moon. A master class and great music all at once, this is a sterling example of why so many of us have guitars in the basement in their cases gathering dust. We can't give it up but we're too blinded by the light to compete with this---even just for fun. Smoking throughout.
VEGAS STRIP KINGS/Jackpot: With Blind Pig selling out to Orchard and leaving their free wheeling, indie roots behind, this blues roots bunch that was on the label had to reconvene to keep the good times rolling. This is the kind of crew that doesn't need to be told what to do. A honking bunch of white boys with the blues that are here for the party, their attitude and sound come right from the wrong side of the tracks letting whitey free their ass so their minds can follow. This is our kind of roots!
(Select O Hits /Gutbukit)
HUMBLE PIE/Joint Effort: Oh, what's 45 years between friends? Recorded after a period of make ups and break ups, as well as near misses, Steve Marriott came back into the fold for this ‘reunion' album that the label put on the shelf and forgot about as tastes were moving away from blues rock journeymen and heading off toward discos and arena rock. And so it all wound down even though the band had some high profile phone numbers in their Rolodexes. You have to be of a certain age to appreciate this, unless you're one of those young bloods that think everything used to be a lot better. A wonderful post card from another time zone as well as a different time and place.
MICHAEL ROSSETTO/Intermodal Blues: There's been some really cool indigenous world beat coming out of Africa lately but this set by the son of Italian immigrants living in Milwaukee and Minneapolis takes the whole thing to another level entirely. With banjo at the core, if this isn't newgrass from Mars, wake me up when the real thing gets here. A masterful instrumentalist, I'm glad Rossetto doesn't fit any format or pigeon hole and creates an ear opening sound all his own. A mind blower of a set you'll find to be deceptively organic, this is a fine example of head music for the modern age. Well done throughout.
(Shifting Paradigm 144)
EASTSIDE KINGS: Back before I was old enough to drive, I used to sneak out of the house on Sunday mornings and ride my bike over to this black church on the wrong side of the tracks to sit outside it in amazement how the congregants would set this joint to rocking. Nobody paid any attention to the white boy with the big grin sitting outside that wasn't interested in getting washed in the blood---this was back when the streets had a truce on Sunday mornings that there would be no violence until all the moms got home from church. It was a world unto itself, somewhere between "Do the Right Thing"'s Harlem and Busboys' "There Goes the Neighborhood". The Kings are currently feeling the Busboys pain as their East Austin neighborhood is close to being gentrified out of existence. Before that happens, local luminaries that are probably older than your grandpa have banded together to rock the joint one more time. With no salt on their aging tails, this sounds like the juke joint you always wanted to get to but were afraid of the neighborhood at night. Roots, soul, blues---call it what you want but this is the real deal cut from the true vine that keeps the party going well into the next day. Killer stuff throughout.
Volume 43/Number 100
February 9, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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