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04/24/20





KAT VOKES/Clockwork: Oh, sure, at first she seems like an art chick running wild but truth be told, she's a jazzbo by way of the classical world and has so many influences you wouldn't know where to begin to pick them out. Fancying herself as another instrument in the band, the vocalist assumes the reins with a solid grip no matter how it seems she's careening at all angles. Eclectic art rock that would do any recidivist hippie proud to use this as the soundtrack to letting their freek flag fly.
(Ropadope 459)

MEGHAN STEWART/Yesterdays: A deep southerner with a set of influences that run a lot wider than your preconceptions would think, she's a jazzbo to the core, even if she got there in a really roundabout way. Soaking it all in and keeping it straight as she goes, the set card is a lively mix of tunes way older than her to contemporary tracks that she tracks well. An in the moment vocalist that knows how to hit all the right notes well serving up an impressive debut throughout.
(Bubble Bath)

AMANDA GARDIER/Flyover Country: A new saxy lady with a sense of humor, her and her ax hail from the jazz hot bed of Indian Noplace. A sure fingered player, she's equally at home with flights of fancy as she is with composed stuff, all of which come from her on this outing. A solid set of sitting down jazz, this is a great soundtrack for anyone getting a little buggy from sheltering in place. It stirs the blood nicely.
(Green Mind Records 2)

CORINNE MAMMANA/Yes, No, Next: How are you going to say no to a lass with eyelashes like hers? A jazz vocalist that some how finds that sweet spot that so many other have come close to hitting but didn't quit hit, she knows her stuff and understands the material which gives it that something extra no matter how familiar it is. On point throughout, this is classic thrush vocals from out of the past to you now. An impressive debut, this is a taste of good things to come.

STEVE THOMAS & the Time Machine/All of These Years: A Darrell Scott/Stuart Duncan quality instrumentalist, Thomas shows he can light his own way on another hot as a pistol collection that comes directly from the back porch to you. Not sounding like he has nearly 40 years under his belt on the bandstand, this is smooth and right on the money contemporary bluegrass. A solid bet for anyone that wants to kick back with the real deal.
(Bonfire 5015)

FLASHBACK/Blues Around My Cabin: Coming together almost like a traditional bluegrass Beatles, these hard core back porch players know how to hit everyone of the right notes, including some you never thought of, as they make their way through this new collection that hits it right out of the park from the git. Everything you could want in straight ahead bluegrass, if this doesn't make you reach for a jug of some sipping whiskey, you just have not spirit or feeling. A winner throughout.
(Pinecastle 1236)

JB & JAMIE DAILEY/Step Back in Time: Talk about giving back. Jamie Dailey has been at the top of his game for 20 years and it appears it was because he had proper launch. He gives back here by dragging his pop into the studio for a duet set which is also his pop's recorded debut, made while playing through Parkinson's. It feels like a son's love made this record happen and happen righteously throughout. A fine set of straight ahead bluegrass that finds everyone playing as fit as a fiddle.
(Pinecastle 1238)

TAWNY ELLIS/Love Life: The cover made me think this was a jazz vocal date, the public relations person that sent it generally sends me Americana...and then there's the sound. With the sound, fury and list of friends that lent a hand, you hear she's a modern lady of the canyon. A very personal singer/songwriter set that uses instruments other than autoharp to make it's point, Ellis never goes far from her southern roots---but she isn't afraid to take the long way back in getting to them. Modern stuff for mainstream modern ears, this is one of those records that builds a strong following one listener at a time. Hot.

HARVEY DALTON ARNOLD/Stories to Live Up To: An original southern rocker steps up to show the young whippersnappers how it's still done. A rock and roll runaway that hit the road with Outlaws when he was 17, he rounds up some long time well chopped pals to kick it out on some modern blues. Rough and ready, it makes up in grit what it lacks in pretty and reminds those who were there why they liked it. Certainly a sound for those that came of age in arenas and not college coffee houses.
(Music Maker 2)

RUSTY ENDS & Hillybilly Hoodoo/Last of the Boogiemen: Well, I just had a good time with these three geezers. Sounding like a lost Delmark session of modern blues gumbo, these road house warriors have probably had enough beer bottles thrown at them to know what it takes to keep the natives from getting restless. Visceral and upfront, they are all about a good time and not adjourning until they feel like you've had one. A winner throughout.

Volume 44/Number 176
April 24, 2020
MIDWEST RECORD
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record


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