RANDY LEWIS BROWN/Red Crow: A first class storyteller with a first class crew in tow, Brown is a top shelf contemporary folkie/Americana cat with an eye and ear for life beyond flyover country. A heartland cat that'll take you places you never knew existed, if you like meaty songwriter you can really sink your teeth into, this is prime primo material that'll really get your rebuilt engine going. A winner throughout.
PAUL DESLAURIERS BAND/Bounce: Award winning Canadian blues rocking white boys with the blues show off the road warrior nature of their power trio by recording this on the fly while touring. Loaded with real stuff from the true vine, even while showing respect to Ramones, this is solid next gen stuff that never picked cotton---or shoveled snow for that matter, because it's too hot. They know the ropes well and swing from them in fine style mixing grit and show chops into a wild amalgam that works on all levels. This'll keep the awards coming.
(Vizz Tone/Bros 11901)
KELLEY SUTTENFIELD/When We Were Young-Sings Neil Young: The sultry jazz singer takes on a wide swath of Young's catalog in this whole Young program that'll have you feeling like this is the first time you're hearing these songs. Of course, if you're a jazzbo and not a rocker, the bulk of this may be new to you. The first all Young program we can recollect, this is sure to set the standards for later efforts to come.
TOM GRANT-PHIL BAKER/Blue Sapphire: Smooth jazz with a funky white boy edge by this piano/bass led duo is on tap here with the tap running freely and finely. A tasty work out that adds to any after hours mood with an elegance that works well, this is a solid bet for genre fans on the prowl for new stuff that works wonders. Well done.
(Nu Wrinkle 155514)
BEN MELSKY-ENSEMBLE DAL/Niente: Way cool, Chicago is rising up as a place for progressive classical music as Melsky takes harp to Mars and beyond for a set of modern works that aren't bound by anything, including gravity. Working out with his normal crew, this is music for space heads---even if they aren't your typical contemporary classical fan. A fine example of sonic inclusiveness, the beyond the pale aspects of this recording are thoroughly what makes it so engaging. You've got our ears open.
(New Focus 236)
EDITH HEMENWAY/To Paradise of Onions: In which you hoi polloi's get to finally learn the difference between art chick and art singer. Hemenway was an art singer, tackling high minded works and creating several of her own that would be used to turn kids on to culture. The kind of recital recording that you find yourself liking even if you try hard not to thinking it's just too much for eggheads, the small group and the two vocalists know how to bring out all the best in these works showcasing specialized music well worthy of wider attention. The diversion you have been looking for to really cleanse the palette.
PAT TRAVERS/Swing!: The cat that shredded us through "Boom Boom, Off Go the Pants" 40 years ago is still shredding it up, but now he's turned his ax to swing time tunes hitting all the bases between Louis Prima and "Tenderly". Too nutty to be a sell out, gift shop record to tread water, this might not be the meat of his métier, but he's having a great time and you will too as he gives more time to the timelines of these timeless classics. It's like Duke Ellington said, there's only two kinds of music...Hot stuff.
(Purple Pyramid 1312)
JACK TEMPCHIN/One More Time With Feeling: The other sixth Eagle takes off from the Eagles' aerie for Jimmy Buffett's mailboat with a bunch of John Stewart alums in tow serving up some unheard Glenn Frey co writes as well as other tunes the master songwriter is debuting here. Fresh from his induction into the songwriter's hall of fame, if "Peaceful Easy Feeling" was all he was known for, he could have called it a satisfying career quits but he had so much more to offer. You can't be a fan of classic rock and pass this by----it's that good.
FIONA JOY HAWKINS & REBECCA DANIEL/Lightness of Dark: My goodness, if you think you know Hawkins from her past instrumental works, think again as she shows there really can be a bunch of turmoil beneath still waters. Enlisting a co-hort, the duo takes on instrumental views of love and loss and finding beauty in the end after trudging through chaos. A deeply touching work that almost seems antithetical to the typical touchy feely new age vibe, this'll really get you thinking without it using any words as guides. A deep, dark work that reassures you the light at the end of the tunnel isn't an on coming train.
(Little Harley 1)
KELLY DAVID/Meditation in Green: All you hippies that did everything you could to stay out of Viet Nam can now find out what you missed when Charley was creeping around in his pajamas as this set takes you to the Mekong Delta for some immersion into found sounds, ambient riffs and more that would probably give John McCain nightmares. Listen to it freely knowing you won't wind up in the Hanoi Hilton, this is some wild world beat that you wouldn't normally find yourself wandering in to.
(Spotted Peccary 4101)
SANGEETA KAUR/Compassion: New age has come a long way since those chant records that sounded like they were minimally recorded in a bathroom. Kaur has a orchestra augmenting her hindu chants, delivering them in a way that feels almost pop like---for new age. Singh Kaur probably wished she had so much to work with to make it so grand, but this Kaur doesn't sound like a hippie living in the desert. Smoking nu stuff for nu new agers.
REFUGEE: Just as it was becoming clear that ELP was a bunch of bloated geezers that would pave the way for punk to happen, 2/3s of Nice found Pat Moraz, the spark plug of this group that would go on to become the spark plug of most rock bands, and issued their only album---a monster that blew the ears open with it's accessible originality. Why it took so long for a reissue and a remastered, expanded edition is anybody's guess because it still sounds as fresh as it did in the summer of 1974. With the addition of a radio show and a live show in this box set, the roots of Moraz are given the sunshine they deserve. The kind of prog set prog fans can proudly point out to disbelievers, quality always wins out.
BONNIE TYLER/RCA Years: For everyone that thinks things are as they appear to be, this set of the English versions of Tyler's early catalog get to hear how she fought to overcome being seen as another Mary Hopkin or Dusty Springfield as she fought her way to hit maker status. A hit maker for several decades, this set has all her RCA sides collected here beyond just the finished albums, and fans of the Welsh lass can revel in the pop goods that was there in plain sight all along. Spring boarding to stardom on an unlikely work record, here's where you get to see how it all began. A nice walk down memory lane.
(Cherry Pop 201)
Volume 43/Number 306
August 23, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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