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MICHAEL J. MILES/Mississippi River Suite: Although he treads a different path in a different way, this is the finest roots/Americana music to come along since Jay Ungar was in his Harvest Home phase. Inspired by a prison concert, ala Johnny Cash, Miles takes his roots/Americana chops and serves up a modern version of civil rights music with none of the lessons or pedagogy inherent in the naif's take on same. When the Odetta inspired vocals enter the scene, it becomes a supreme audio verite that physically transports you to freedom riding down the mighty Mississip. A killer work throughout that takes organic music to whole new realms.
(Right Turn on Red 5308)

TARRYN AIMEE/It Came to Me: An intimate, organic vocalist that hits it out of the park right from the start knows just the right way to wrap your ears around her little finger. Sensitive and loaded with the kind of chops talent show contestants could learn a thing or two from, this singing writer is knowledgeable way beyond her years and shares it with us in fine form.

MICHAEL THOMAS/Event Horizon: When this label says they give you room to stretch out, this leading edge sax man's double album is proof in your hand. A leading edge progressive, he leads his crew in fine form through a modern jazz romp that would make all the daddio sax men of the past proud to have him in the lineage. A Grammy nominee in one of his other skins, Thomas is as New York as you can get about things, but his honk stops before hitting skronk. Using his freedom to create as he sees fit, this is a solid, high water mark in modern jazz.
(Giant Step Arts 5)

LEE GALLAGHER/L.A. Yesterday: It's been 50 years since Gram Parsons invented cosmic American music. Whether it's hippies or cow punks, it all gets you to about the same place. Gallagher brings his rock to the country and the current circle is complete. This set is right in the pocket for anyone that wants to insurgent up a good time.

JOSE RAMIREZ/Here I Come: Don't let a second place finish in the IBC keep you from digging this guitar slinger. Anson Funderburgh rounded up everyone, parked them in Austin and let the good times roll. Blues from Costa Rica by way of DC and Florida? It's all good. With an amped up take on an old school loping sound, count on this bunch to hit all the right notes throughout. Next time out, the sky is the limit.

ONTOLOGICS/heading to the Outer Realm: Shameless genre splicers come with their second set that will find them continuing to be malcontent's darlings as they merrily do their thing without caring what anyone thinks. Well done modern rock easily running ahead of the curve, in a democracy, everyone gets to have a sound they can call their own.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: Yikes! Sonic knocks out the power grid and incurs the wrath of a super villain! An antidote to superheroes, this videogame inspired madness is fun for the whole family and the disc comes packed with enough distractions to keep everyone in the family busy---except probably mom who'll probably hate this as much as she does Three Stooges. Jim Carrey turns in his meatiest performance in years and even when trouble lies ahead, the world gets saved (oops, spoiler alert) and a good time is had by all.

Volume 44/Number 198
May 16, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record

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