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MARA LEVINE/Facets of Folk: When Chris Lavin and David Amram are saying ‘looky here', we're going to look. On her third album, Levine marks her territory as the new standard bearer for folk music with this classically framed set that finds her interpreting worthy modern classics, protest music and some of the sweetest vocalizing you'll find this side of the golden sounds of the 60s. A flat out winner throughout, this isn't about lo-fi, nostalgia or what ever---it's a delightful slice of the here and now hitting the nail right on the head. Well done.
(Mara's Creations 5)

MARION HALLIDAY/Rings Around Saturn: Coming to songwriting a little later in the game than others, this folkie steps out from her band for a solo set that features her writing about things around her that affect her, and she's not into petty concerns. Echoing things a lot of people feel but don't get around to expressing, this isn't for anyone looking for a mush mouth sob sister. Written with 360 degree awareness, this set'll make you think there's a real folkie revival in the air.

DASHBOARD HULA GIRLS/Savoir Faire to Spare: With so many influences to pick from mashed up in these tracks, you almost want to call them the Bastard Scions of Tom Waits but their current name is much cooler. Some Fred Neil here, some industrial folk there, some John Koerner floating around, whole bunches of other seasonings throughout---there's a whole bunch of cool stuff here to sample weaving in an out through the music's damaged beauty.

DASHBOARD HULA GIRLS/Sway ep: You take a quick look at the 3 titles on this ep and you think you've got it nailed as a pomo fun house ride. Brother, would you be wrong. It's off the beaten path giving you organic music from Mars from that fun house ride. Check it out.

PABLO EMBON/Reminiscent Moods: A band in a box kind of guy that actually plays the instruments serves up a delightful session of lite jazz that floats like a butterfly---but doesn't really sting. Fun stuff for fun times, this international cat has a righteous feel for what ears are looking for when they've really had enough. Fun stuff throughout.

MARK DOYLE/Watching the Detectives-Guitar Noir III: Long time behind the scenes MVP that has worked with everyone from those who make you smile to those who make you wince shows he never lost his sense of humor as he gives forth with his third set in 20 years of his vision/version of crime jazz pulled from cop show themes. As much Zappa as Earle Hagen, pomo ears will get a real kick out of this thrill ride through the underbelly of the underbelly. Creativity you can champion.
(Free Will 565)

REBEKAH VICTORIA/Songs of the Decades: Bay Area jazz thrush teams with Wayne Wallace for a nu take on the great American songbook, expanding the scope, the pages, as well as the sound. Pulling it off/together quite nicely, it doesn't matter if some of these songs are too old for copyright protection, they all sound right together. Solid stuff for jazz vocal fans that want to hear it done right.
(Patois 24)

LAUREN ANDERSON/Won't Stay Down: A white girl with the blues, which she has rocked up for her Nashville residency, can't shake off her Chicago roots as you can hear some Rufusized funk that easily predates her birthday. A sure footed award winner on the rise, this belter has it all on the ball and has what it takes to plant her flag and defend her turf. Well done.

Volume 43/Number 246
June 24, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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