SILVER LAKE 66/Ragged Heart: Rocked up Americana with folkie roots hits hard right out of the gate on the duo's second effort. Dandy entertainment, they cut right to the chase and right to the heart with some foot stomping, fist pumping anthems that really rev it up for a genre that can always welcome some revving. Fun stuff that hits all the right notes in all the right places throughout.
GRANT FARM/Broke In Two: How often do you run into long haired country rockers with a fondness for eastern mysticism? This bunch fills the bill taking it farther than they did on their debut. Somehow, it comes together sounding like college coffeehouse folk with an edge. A nice relief from the hurly burly of any day--they don't once ask you to peer into your navel as they entreat you to get on board this train. Check it out.
(Grant Central 1901)
MARCUS SHELBY ORCHESTRA/Transitions: A black culture historian via his music, this time out the bass ace doesn't devote an entire work to his knowledge drops like in previous releases--but he does it in a sly way here. The center piece of this work is a tribute to the Negro Baseball League and it's surrounded by interpretations of period work, all of which hits it right out of the park. A sonic theatrical piece, he finds the echoes of the era, makes them his own and crafts a real double dinger of a set from there. Any fan of straight ahead jazz served right down the middle will be so enraptured by this disc they won't be able not to prothelize about it. Hot stuff.
RICHARD SHULMAN TRIO/Waltzing Out of Town: The piano man serves up yet another delightful slice of jazz piano trio work. Easy going and enjoyable enough that it doesn't even need a Friday evening bar on the water to compliment it. While he might yet again evade the jazz police, everyone else will have a great time with this upbeat, buoyant and bright set that just shimmers along so rightly. Well done.
(Rich Heart 1927)
CHARLES RUGGIERO & HILLARY GARDNER/Play the Music of the Bird and the Bee: Move over boomers and Gen Xers, 00 nostalgia is here as the 20s are right around the corner. The synth duo debuted on Bluenote so why should it be so hard to think that Lowell's daughter would be put under the microscope by some jazzbos that trod ground Blossom Dearie would have if she could have? You really don't have to know the source to appreciate the result. Well done and fully jazzbo throughout.
(Smalls Live 61)
GREG JACOBS/Encore: Oklahoma isn't Texas, and Garth Brooks is from there originally, so us out of towners don't know how to use the yardstick appropriately, but it seems like a fair estimation that if you take Brooks off the table, Jacobs has to be the Okie Townes or Guy. An early influence on Brooks, there isn't a misfire in the bunch here and it's time the rest of us caught on to this wordsmith. A sure bet for anyone that wants to hear great lyrics that ring right up there with anything Clark, Crowell or Van Zandt could/can do consistently, this is the primo, uncut stuff. A winner throughout.
PARAMOUNT HOOM EVIDEO
13 REASONS WHY Season 2: I guess the proof that everyone thinks today's young people are too self satisfied and smug is how there was no outcry to ban, picket or burn this series/DVD when an up tick in youth suicide that fanatics tried to tie to this show unfurled. It uncovers a big problem without turning into an after school special, and the usual book burners should just shut up and adhere to freedom of expression---the stuff they want to suppress. Maybe big data knows a thing or two we should be aware of. If you didn't catch it on Netflix, give it a look now.
Volume 43/Number 199
May 8, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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