GEORGE LYNCH & JEFF PILSON/Heavy Hitters: Ok all you green menolishi, did you ever wonder what would happen if the guitar shredders of Dokken teamed up to do metal versions of pop hits? It's certainly one of those oddball records and it goes a long way in proving that with the right hands on the wheel anything can be amped up and reinterpreted into some head bang. The thing that keeps this set real is that the shredders picked songs they actually like---even if they aren't true to the lifestyle. Hey kids, we all know it's a Tik Tok world and anything can happen in that fun house.
HAWKESTREL/Space Xmas: Since so much holiday music is ethereal anyway, it almost seems like Alan Davey and his space/prog all star pals are playing it straight rather that taking to space and beyond. Arriving a little too late for this holiday season, add it to you prog checklist for next year's holidays when you want to go traditional---but not really. Don't worry, it has it's far out moments as well, but nearly in a Mannheim Steamroller kind of way.
(Purple Pyramid 2127)
SPIRITS BURNING & MICHAEL MOORCOCK/Hollow Lands: It might have taken 50 years to get here but a load of space, prog, hard and English folk rockers gather together behind author Moorcock to craft the English folk rock record you wanted to like way back in the day but could never wrap your head around because the album was never quite there. Based on writings from 2018 and forward, it's hard to call this nostalgia or even nostalgic, it's just something cool whose time has finally come with all the right elements popping into all the right places.
(Purple Pyramid 1791)
BROKENRAIL/Beautiful Chaos: Metalica was once on an off beat label and it didn't seem like anyone would ever take them seriously and yet....all these years later we find this Alabama metal crew coming from nowhere on an indie label and tearing things up from the underground. With 12 years running under their metal belts, it's more than time for them to come for your children.
ROBERT PRESTER & ADRIANA SAMARGIA/First Snow: A jazzy holiday set inspired by vocalese and original hipster sessions, this duo and their pals are well seasoned vets that have labored in the vineyards honing their chops for years making this delight seem totally effortless. Taking you to new places by using familiar routes, this is something new to tickle your ears when you need to make some merry.
JOE BOWDEN/Roots-Tales of the Urban Yoda: The funky vet Canadian drummer turns it up and turns it loose as he delivers the kind of hot funky stuff those cold Canadian nights need to keep things warm while saving energy. A solid mainstream groover, this is right in the pocket for weekend warriors that don't feel self conscious doing the white guy dance if it means at least the ladies will pay attention because he is dancing. Easy going hot stuff that works throughout.
MAURICIO MORALES/Luna: Dispensing with the usual first album jitters and tropes, rising bass ace Morales jumps right into personal, music story telling fearlessly embracing musical impressionism as well as anything else with densely layered and textured journeys into sound and realms. Never straying from being a smart and accomplished set, there's something going on that real listeners will want to check out. Well done.
COUSIN HARLEY/Let's Go: The honky tonking trio of rockabilly rebels deliver the non mellow side of country rock with a strong dose of hillbilly sensibility that makes you think they might have run some shine between gigs to make ends meet. A pure power party record that keeps the good times coming, this bunch has honed their chops to the point that you feel they couldn't get any tighter, and you would be thinking wrong. Smoking!
CHRIS NORDMAN TRIO/High Wire: If it wasn't for the chops, you could easily mistake this easy going set for a gift shop record based on the set list and the vibe. You would miss the point. This crew sets the tone for jazz in central Florida and some of their playing might be informed by who they have to play to, but they have been around the block and have more than enough skills to pay the bills. They also know how and when to cut loose, which they do so well. A solid slice of jazz for good times.
GHALIA VOLT/One Woman Band: If anyone else was recording Ralph Bass songs in Memphis we might have a problem with it but this former Brusse busker that's been setting the blues world on fire since landing on these shores can gumbo up anything she wants in our book. Forced to become a one woman band by Covid after two smart sets with our players, we'll just follow anywhere she decides to lead. A smoking set loaded with lots of Texas how-how-how feel---gumbo, jam, jellyrolls, she's got it all covered. Not one to really care about boundaries, this is high octane electric blues for tomorrow that has Muddy smiling----and probably wailing too. Killer stuff.
DEVIL LOVE/Broken Things: Boston alt.rockers with long standing roots in the various alt.rock communities, they bring the 60s and the 90s into the present with crunchy guitar rock and left of center sentiments for modern malcontents. In touch with the modern ethos of nothing works right anymore, they are hear to lead the way to the sound of the suburbs lost in miasma and looking for a way out.
Volume 45/Number 65
January 4, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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