DAVE SCHOEPKE/Drums on Low: Well drum fans, here's what you've been looking for. A solo drum record by some cat from deep in the heartland doing it live in the studio with no overdubs. Often as mysterious as a contemporary classical record that looks to push the boundaries, there have been some solo bass and solo sax records that intrigue and infuriate, sometimes both at the same time but this just drums along with an amazing amount of variety coming from a solo drum set. For the real purist.
RENAISSANCE/Live at Carnegie Hall: Prime time Renaissance never made a bad record but this live set recorded during a sold out three night run at Carnegie Hall is quite possibly the cornerstone of their legacy. Recorded just as arena rock was rearing it's head, this progressive English band could have easily given us the schmata queen we'd have been worshipping instead of Stevie Nicks with just a few little twists, turns and twitches in some directions. Expanded and remastsered with a BBC concert added to this collection, you hear front and center what happens when genre music transcends genre and takes on a spirit that keeps it fresh decades later. Drama and rocking tempered with just the right mix, this is a treat that just keeps giving. Still hot stuff.
(Esoteric Recordings America 3001)
BEBOP DELUXE/Futurama: The unearthing and expansion of another of Bill Nelson's killer 70s guitar records is cause for celebration. A real ace that knew how to make those notes fly, even if trying to keep it FM friendly, this is hard core ground zero space for the release of pent up teen aged hormones that need to set sail. Killer stuff that continues to mind bend and mind melt, this is a must and for always for shredder fans that want their guitar loud and proud.
WHITEY SOMERS/Down that Road: A Canadian white boy with the blues that's been at it since Jesus lost his sandals plays like he has noting to prove and he means it. An organic, back porch set that was tailor made for summer sunsets and cold ones, he goes along his merry way playing like that old pal of yours that makes it look easy and doesn't really know how good he is. Fun stuff throughout.
BILL BLOOMER/Bounty: I can't imagine how you can argue with a cat that sounds like a mash up between Tom Waits and Michael Hurley while actually being admired by Butch Hancock. Sure, you've got to be a left leaning, freak folk gourmet to fully appreciate it, but have you looked up how many You Tube plays some Tom Waits stuff has? For people that never met a hit they ever liked, this is music right up your alley and right in the pocket. Sure to clear a room from non believers, why would you want them around you anyway? Killer stuff.
CHRIS & ADAM CARROLL/Good Farmer: So if you like Guy, Ntownes, Ngaryp, Nhayes, Nrobertearl Narestofem, Lloyd Maines has a duo here for you that's right in the Texas troubadour pocket. This folkie duo has the 10,000 hours under their belts and they deliver the goods accordingly. Singer songwriter goodness to the max, this gold standard set is as good as it gets. And the cover art is by Jon Dee Graham---buy one of his bear drawings, would ya?
DAWN TYLER WATSON/Mad Love: She might not have Koko Taylor's grit but she certainly has her soul--and that's what it takes to be the first Canadian to win the International Blues Challenge. A gal that knows how to power a party on a platter in over drive throughout, this smoking, high octane set is the cardio workout you need. A PhD worthy master of the art, this is one of those discs you'll want as more than a souvenir that you'll actually play---a lot. Hot stuff from tip to toe.
ZAC HARMON/Mississippi BarBQ: Sometimes, all it takes is a little polish an a little compartmentalizing to make things really shine. Working with Jim Gaines in the producer's chair and focusing on his singing and playing, his already formidable chops come farther to the fore and show he's a good standard bearer for modern blues. With just the right amount of grease and sass in the mix, this show band date is a delightful entertainment that carries the day nicely. All you have to do it let it happen and you can rest assured a good time is on tap.
NAKEDEYE ENSEMBLE/Toy: Ah, the move from fantasy to reality. Back In the 90s, there was a record purported to be Snoopy playing kids classics on toys. Flash forward, here we have a toy piano at the center of this set being taken seriously as an instrument. And there's some pretty high minded stuff covered along the way. Amazingly, one of the ways you can take this set is to introduce junior to classical music much the same way Bugs Bunny introduced you. For fans of unbridled creativity that does color inside the lines, this is one seriously wild excursion. Check it out.
(New Focus 234)
LEA LOVE/Way I Am: A modern pop vocalist that has the skills to high the right notes at the right times serves up a tasty entertainment with some multi culti touches that will intrigue as you play along while it plays along. Check it out.
(Mensch House 93)
ROBERTO LOPEZ/Kaleido Stropico: You might as well call this modern Latin music because it's such a mash up of Afro Columbian grooves that reach out to funk and world so heavily that you can't really pin down what's what---and it really doesn't matter because it's all heat for the feet and a smoking good time. While it easily would have been called party jazz a few generations ago, our reaches and grasps have moved light years on since then. If you ever doubted that the groove is in the heart, here's the proof you were on the right track. Well done.
PETER ELDRIDGE & KENNY WERNER/Somewhere: A romance album right in the pocket of the classic Sinatra/Cole/Mathis ballad albums with piano and voice front and center backed by some of the lushest orchestrations this side of Jackie Gleason. The overdue joining of two pros that know how to hit stuff like this out of the park in tier sleep, this is the tap to turn on for some instant sophistication that really works. Well done.
OLA ONABULE/Point Less: A Nigerian Afro popster that has made his presence felt around the world now turns his sights to conquering America just as easily and handily. Easy rolling, world pop that might be socially conscious but never feels like protest music, this is a sweet, smart set that wraps you up in it's good vibes before you even know what is happening. A set anyone with international tastes is sure to like, it's a delightful change of pace that plays on so well. Hot stuff.
(Rugged Ram 19)
Volume 43/Number 253
July 1, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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