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REVEREND SHAWN AMOS/Kitchen Table Blues V. 1: Taking Midnight Ramble or Unplugged to a different place, Amos spent 90 Sunday mornings with various friends dropping by to lend a hand to the sing along festivities. Comes here the first ep from those sessions where it's all about having fun over coffee and letting raggedness be one of the guests and part of the charm. A set of covers that floats his boat, Amos is having a good time off the clock and inviting you along for the ride. Off the clock is more and more where it's at.
(Put Together)

PATRICE JEGOU/If It Ain't Love: If the majors were still in the record business, this would be a tent pole adult/jazz release. This thrush showcases her eclectic nature before you hear a note just from checking out the song list and the players all on board and all in synch. A great journey though a different version of the great American songbook, this is swinging jazz vocal art at the top of it's game that already has you looking forward to more. Killer stuff adult ears will welcome with open lobes.
(Prairie Star)

URBANITY: A couple of frequently Grammy nominated producers pull together for a smooth jazz date sure to push them over the top. Don't worry if you don't get it this time, the Grammies have become just a show and this set has more than that going on. With deep chops that go back to being at the creation of acid jazz, they ease off the pedal here for something pretty that's more than pretty music for the people. A most righteous set of laid back adult jazz, this is a smoking instrumental set that too hard to resist.
(Alfi 3119)

DOUG MACDONALD QUARTET/Organisms: If you're a fan of the Wes Benson school of jazz guitar, this cat whose a vet of Vegas lounges but never let it dim his chops is back with his 14th album on which he's backed by a crew of pros that play like they are a regular working band. A breezily swinging mainstream date, these cats provide maximum bounce to the ounce providing the perfect jams to ease being stuck in traffic or for getting the weekend off to good start as you kick back with some lubrication Friday after work. Killer stuff done right throughout.

LIONESS/Pride & Joy: The label continues to show a guy can own a company that opens the door for the #metoo-ers with this set driven by 6 ladies that can jazz it up with the best of anyone. All leaders in their own rights, these cats respect tradition but play with a ear cocked toward the future. As respecters of tradition, there are covers here of Carla Bley and Emily Remler in the mix. As opposed to sounding girly or playing with balls, this bunch shows jazz is the universal language kicking out some really sweet jams in top shelf form. Instrumental music is in good hands here. Well done.
(Posi-Tone 8193)

PETITE CELINE/Man Made Fire: In the tradition of pretty French hell raisers like Francoise Hardy, this formerly homeless busker shows she knows how to connect over so many lines you can't keep track of them all. A sparkling, shimmering take on modern indie pop that refuses to be pigeon holed, this a delightful up market take on indie pop that would be subversively at home playing in the background at trendy dress shops yet turn up most naturally at hip clubs later that evening. A modern sex kitten with so many tricks up her sleeve that you'll be dizzy in no time, this mega mash up of styles is a long way from mashed potatoes. Killer stuff throughout.

RAGS & BONES/Flower Time: Here's something you don't see every day; a 70 year old cat looking back a the life he lived and life he wanted to live with the kind of wizened experience manqué like Ryan Adams have been foisting off for years. Much more Zen than shoe gaze, if you aren't going to pursue your art at 70 when the life thrown at you to weigh you down is past, then when. Organic all the way, this is serious music to make you think and feel while it gently hammers some important lessons home. When someone offers you their life on a plate in this fashion, you're a fool not to partake. A winner throughout.

MATT ANDERSEN/Halfway Home By Morning: A smoldering set of heartfelt work from an award winning blue eyed soul man/white boy with the blues from the frozen north, he takes his act to Nashville where he's backed up by the best and making his mark again with resting on any past laurels. Loaded with so much soul and grit you'd think he's bought a load of seasonal close outs of grit at Home Depot to fill out the quotient, this is some hard hitting entertainment that goes the distance and then some. One smoking, kick ass winner that connects.
(True North 715)

SPPONGE/Demoed in /Detroit 1997-98: With a couple of hit albums under their belt, so the story goes that when they were cranking it up for their third album (this one), their hard rock a&r man thought the sessions were too hard and pulled the plug. Who knows what happened? This stuff sounds right in the pocket. Angry stuff for pissed off suburban teens with no where to turn, maybe it was just the changing face of the times that put the kibosh to this. You don't have to be a nostalgia freak to get into this now, just be a pissed off suburban teen with no where to turn and you'll get it like it was just made last week. With a new form of marginalization in the air, this could be timely power for the newly powerless.
(Cleopatra 1138)

JAY KIPPS BAND/How to Polish Your Longhorns: Since this a debut for this bunch from the frozen north, it's hard to know from far away whether they are pomo cow punks or new traditionalists. Either way, this a sure bet for people who say they are fans of Americana because they stuff the really like just barely fits into the genre's fringes. Organic and right at home in alt.country land, this is one of those wonderful ear openers that gets you paying attention right from the git. Well done.
(Flint & Steel)

KENNY PARKER/Hellfire: A certified white boy with the blues from Detroit that not only worked for Cadillac but Mitch Ryder, Buddy Miles and Cactus, he unleashed a new lead vocalist to his crew so he can focus on his well known guitar slinging. A dandy four on the floor show band that knows how to really put on a show, he's here for the party and hopes you are the same. Smoking entertainment whose blues pushes your away for a while in fine form.
(Rockawhile 1)

Volume 43/Number 124
February 23, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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