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BOBBY WOOD/If I'm a Fool for Loving You: One of those cats that you can introduce with one of those ‘the man, the myth, the legend' intros, Wood's piano graced everything Elvis' comeback hits to Garth Brooks string of hits and a whole lot of cool stuff prior to that when the record biz was run purely on grab ass. This twofer focuses on those days, all of which was made possible when Wood was being peddled as the next Jerry Lee Lewis and was told to go home and come back when he was bringing in the next Bobby Wood. Rocking rockabilly and country sides, this set has his whole 1960s recorded output under his own name---collecting hits and sides he powered would probably fill the internet. Killer stuff often bedeviled by record biz shenanigans, this is a most righteous music geek's set that hits all the right notes always straight from a legend to you.
(RPM 1002)

DAVE ZINNO UNISPHERE/Stories Told: The bass ace leads a bunch of gringos through the funky side of samba/jazz that's so wild and wooly you might not recognize the source. High octane stuff well powered by a crew that likes letting their chops fly high and mighty, the summer jazz aspect is undeniable and it sounds like a party is in their air once this set achieves lift off. Well done.
(Whaling City Sound 113)

BLIND RACCOON-NOLA BLUE COLLECTION V. 1/various: In today's over communicated world, Blind Raccoon wants to help you cut through the morass by delivering a twofer of a bunch of their tracks deserving wider attention. If you dig soul and blues, get after your fave radio station and tell them to get on the ball with this set of tracks that haven't really been worked yet that you want to hear. Not a clinker in the bunch, this is the sum total of a bunch not afraid of hard work.

MEG WILLIAMS/Take Me as I Am: This white girl with the blues might be hiding behind nerd glasses and an almost kewpie doll voice but dragging her guitar down to Muscle Shoals and kicking off her debut with a track that shows math chicks really were more worth chasing than cheerleaders, this is a delightful set by a lass with the blues in her soul. The generation of Swampers is up for the task of making this a winner and all get marks at all levels. Solid stuff throughout.
(Nola Blue 9)

NIGHTFLYER/Flight: A nice, solid traditional flavored bluegrass date with the just the right amount of old and new, secular and gospel all powered by righteous chops galore. Pros proud of smoking performance, this is a wonderful fast ball right down the middle just waiting to be hit out of the park. Well done.
(Pinecastle 1221)

DUO VIOLAO + 1/Historia do Choro: Charlie Brown said that if you grit your teeth and show real determination, anything is possible. This record, the result of this trio toughing it out for funding for three years with an arts council, is the proof of that thesis. An utterly lovely overview of choro, a lot of this material might have come from the same neighborhoods as tango, but this is more like tango's polite cousin. Expertly and lovingly played, these southern sounds sound most natural in the hands of these players. This is a wonderful place for gringos to get their beaks wet in a sound that they'll enjoy enough to turn their friends on to. Well done.
(Amino 1)

ANDY EMLER-DAVID LEIBMAN/Journey Around the Truth: For old hell raisers not ready to go gently into that good night, these two old pals were commissioned by Radio France to improv a set of organ/sax face offs with the centerpiece of it being a complex organ built by a master organ boulder. Not even the bunch in Troy, New York could have envisioned this. Using their commission wisely, these two create an event that would never be replicated if not for this recording. Chrome domes and grey pony tails aside, there ain't no dust on these two. A wonderful, wild ride.
(Signature Radio France 1116)

LISSA SCHNECKENBURGER/Thunder in My Arms: In which we find an old folkie taking a deft turn by crafting a personal album about being a foster/adoptive parent to kids with development issues. Ain't that a mouthful? Then she goes and does it without being preachy. Made for adults and a little jarring if you don't know what you're getting into a head of time, this has got more useful content than any ten self help books on the subject and it's made a lot more palatable to digest to boot. Check it out if you're in this situation or know someone that is and want to be more understanding.
(Footprint 2019)

SPLINTER REEDS/Hypothetical Islands: A reed quintet with sensibilities that are over ridingly post punk as they delve into progressive jazz and classical realms, they fearlessly tread on shaky grounds without losing their footing. Untamed stuff for wild ears, when the wheel don't come off, you know you're in good hands and this journey is an easy bet for the sonically adventurous.
(New Focus 222)

ANDY STATMAN/Monroe Bus: The only yarmulke wearing bluegrass mandolin player we know of decides now that he's got an NEA fellowship under his belt it time to make that career defining set that goes the whole distance all at once. A tribute Bill Monroe in several shapes and forms, Statman kicks out the record that's always been lurking in him waiting to get out, it just needed the proper years of steeping to get there. A Jethro worthy date, this set is completely state of the art. A picker at his apex.
Shefa 3008)

Volume 43/Number 157
March 27, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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