POINTED MAN BAND/Amongst the Tall Trees: Wasn't sure exactly what kind of hippy dippy stuff to expect from the Pacific Northwest's Dan Elliott and I guess I was looking in the wrong direction. This is kid stuff that isn't kid stuff. With a big, bold production vibe, it's for kids of all ages that are looking for showman inspired stuff that is as ADD as they are. A wild set that takes flight and never really comes back to earth, the kids have something neato here to rally around when it's time to leave Raffi in the dust. Check it out.
(Doo Dah 3)
MIKE ALLEN/Just Like Magic: All that's missing from this trio date is classic Tom Waits rasping his way through some emotional weather report. With Washington and Nash bringing up the rear for this sax man at Van Gelder's studio, these cats know the late night groove well showing how to kick it off in fine form with a Duke Pearson tune that captures a groove that would make him grin. Tasty, classic jazzbo throughout, this is a high water mark for a label that dishes them out easily.
CLAUDIA NYGAARD/Lucky Girl: In the spirit of Loretta Lynn even if she expresses herself in a modern fashion, this is the kind of heartfelt singer/songwriter stuff that's been sorely missing from country for a long time. Very personal stuff that has a wide reach, Nygaard hits it out of the park with each trip to the plate showing what a bunch of goodies she has up her sleeve and in her trunk. Certainly hits for others if not herself. Well done.
(Bet the Ranch 419)
SI KAHN & THE LOOPING BROTHERS/It's a Dog's Life: The vet folkie/activist is still expressing the popular rage, this time around kicking it out with a German band that sounds just as down home as you'd want. While he might be farming out the vocal work to the Brothers for much of the set, it's Kahn's show all the way and Pete Seeger and the rest have got to be smiling. Never pedantic and brow beating, the music is the message and it's good to see activism is still alive and well in the right hands. Solid stuff.
(Strictly Country 81)
RJ COWDERY/What if This is All There is: Crowd funding really came through this time. Like a novelist blossoming in obscurity for years, Cowdery stewed in her own juices for decades before making the decision to go for it, emerging fully formed in voice and pen with the force of a runaway train. A totally stellar singer/songwriter set that never fails to hit all the right notes, she's unique enough that while apt comparisons might be apt, they don't do her justice. Just don't miss it.
SHOB/Solide: The French bass ace continues the roll he's been on with a set that tells you pretty much how Brian Auger would have sounded if bass was his ax. Rollicking back in the day fusion colored by modern Afro punk grooves, there's enough juice flowing hereto satiate the Jaco in anyone. Music meant for enjoyment, this let's the good times roll mightily.
(net Music Zone)
1919/Futurecide: Dark, melodic Goths are still at nearly 40 years in with their vibe undaunted and unabated. Betcha the dark souls will gather to hear what these old souls have in store for them after all this time. It's like Bart Simpson says-giving teens depressing music is like shooting fish in a barrel. Works for me here.
SOUTH AUSTIN MOONLIGHTERS/Travel Light: Who's going to argue with a bunch of amiable roots rockers whose only message is lighten up, jerks? Life is heavy enough without you adding to it. Spread that gospel! Probably raised on 70s, urban country rock, this bunch locked into a groove and knows how to work it well. An after hours set for those who prefer long necks to trendy cocktails, this is a glorious soundtrack to ease you into the weekend.
(Station House 102)
TEXAS HORNS/Get Here Quick: Memphis, Macon, Muscle Shoals, Austin--it's all here on the long over due debut by these stellar accompanists. Helped out by about every muso that's ever thought about Texas, it doesn't get anymore heartfelt or ballsy than what's going on here. The kind of gritty, greasy funky soul driven stuff you can really sink your teeth into, it may not make you feel like a grown up to listen to it but you really have to be a grown up to appreciate it. Killer stuff that's really needed right now.
ELIZABETH TOMBOULIAN/Love's in Need to Love Today: Ingrid Jensen lends a hand, Roseanna Vitro produces and the samba that found it's way out of Little Rock plays out wonderfully here. Never tasking itself too seriously, she's not a classic thrush but she has found her inner jazzbo after making a lot of stops along the way. A dandy jazz vocal set that's here for the fun, she treats the chestnuts with respect even when offering them new settings. Solid stuff from a pro a long time in the making.
(Quantum Star Song)
Volume 43/Number 195
May 4, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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