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10/09/20




ERIN HARPE/Meet Me in the Middle: Taking home recording to the next level of the game via pandemic blues, Harpe and her hubby recorded this new set themselves in their living room. If you really want to show off those classic acoustic, finger picking blues moves, actually, this is quite a righteous setting to strut your stuff. Mixing originals with classics from the genre's matriarchs. Harpe missed the off ramp Bonnie Raitt took toward being a pop star and really stays true to her roots and passions giving us the best end of that deal. A great gateway drug for the blues newbie, this is the stuff that'll really get you hooked. Killer stuff throughout. (PS: How much higher can you Raitt when you cover some John Koerner?)
(Vizz Tone/Juicy Juju JJ 004)

BEN LEVIN/Carryout or Delivery: A new spin on "Two Jews Blues" finds rising piano man Levin kicking it out with his pop on an engaging set that proves his debut was no fluke. A rousing set that raises the roof at the juke joint, he's on track to be a real shouter in the best whore house tradition. Hot and heavy jumping stuff, this kid is one that's sure to keep the tradition alive with no dust on it. Well done.
(Vizz Tone BL 003)

DANIELLE MIRAGLIA/Bright Shining Stars: Now that the Grammys want to be more inclusionary do you think I can con them into making a category for ‘best back porch recording' somewhere in the roots/Americana file? This would sweep it like "Schitt's Creek" just did at the Emmys. This Boston gal and her guitar is all that's needed, with just a little coloration here and there, to totally take hold of your brain and not let go. As much as I love me some Rory Block, she is on Medicare and look what the Blackhawks just did to Corey Crawford. Satchel Paige might have said it best but Miraglia plays it best. A real honey and a real humdinger all at the same time. Not to be missed if you like it from the true vine.
(Vizz Tone DM 01)

DAVE RILEY & BOB CORRITORE/Traveling the Dirt Road: This 2007 reissue is mostly a Dave Riley album with Corritore along for more than the ride but showing how much he's getting his feet wet as a white boy with the blues. Recorded over several sessions in several locations, it maintains that solid west side/down home feel on a set of mostly Riley originals. With some unreleased tracks in the stack to shine it up, this is some wonderful down and dirty stuff loaded with grit and lacking in bullshit. Fine, traditional blues by a crew well in step with their leader.
(Vizz Tone/SWMAF 15)

KID RAMOS-BOB CORRITIRE/Phoenix Blues Sessions: Recorded in the late 90's when west coast white boys were starting to coalesce the nu blues scene and Arizona cats were following suit. A couple original white boys with the blues rubbed elbows with the authentic black cats that knew the score and were willing to mentor, this cross pollination worked well as it sounds like everyone is raising everyone else's game. Finally allowed to escape from the vaults in 2012, it has down home tattooed all over it. Yowsah!
(Vizz Tone SWMAF 16)

HENRY GRAY & BOB CORRITORE SESSIONS/vol. 2-Cold Chills: A distillation of 20 years worth of sessions of Corritore jamming with Gray, the sideman list here is so wide ranging I think everyone is on this disc but me. Stone cold bad ass blues, everybody here mixes it up in fine form no matter their background or age. Central Street? Beale Street? 47th Street? It's all here and more. A real killer diller of a set that needed to escape from the vaults.
(Vizz Tone SWMAF 17)

JUSTIN FARREN/Pretty Free: If Springsteen didn't have Columbia behind him for 50 years would he have eventually turned into Joe Grushecky or Elliot Murphy?. Living an off the clock life, Farren is doing a great job with the path less chosen taking a winding road into being a folkie you can't forget. Recording in a backyard shed showing that man cave isn't always the opposite of she shed, he keeps it organic and heartfelt while being dazzling throughout. One of those diamonds in the rough in the real John Prine tradition.
(Bad Badger Service 5)

DANNY BROOKS & LIL MISS DEBI/Are You Ready?: Certainly you remember the good times that went with music that came out of that vortex of Memphis, Macon and Muscle Shoals. This record came from that time and place, with several of the cats from that time and place lending hands. Recording in suburban Jackson, there's a soupcon of Malaco in the mix as well. Tasty, real music set that vet rockers will love kicking it out to. Solid stuff.
(His House 7)

ALASTAIR GREENE/New World Blues: Sharing a manager with Tab Benoit, Greene headed down to Benoit's studio for a rip roaring power trio/white boy with the blues date that just plain delivers the goods. With the times we're living through promoting playing from the heart when you get a chance to play at all, this set shows how it‘s done. Old and new all at once, this is a blues rock revival in the finest form of the highest order. Killer stuff that'll get your blood flowing.
(Whiskey Bayou 1005)

JOHNNY IGUANA/Chicago Spectacular: If you've never been able to quite put your finger on the pomo antics of Claudettes, this record holds the answer. Their leader simply has more talent than one person can contain. A Jewish kid from Philly rescued from piano lessons by a call from Junior Wells inviting him into a misspent youth of kicking it out in juke joints around the world, Iguana went up in heah and never looked back. Pounding the ivories with some of the Chicago blues greats that can still get up under their own power and kick it out, the kid with more talent than one person should have kicks it out mightier than one person should be able to. A living testament to all the great stuff that has come before, this set will be a revelation for anyone that thought they couldn't be into traditional, post war electric blues. Killer stuff.
(Delmark 864)

Volume 44/Number 347
October 9, 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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