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HUGHES TAYLOR/Modern Nostalgia: A modern white boy with the blues kicks it out and shows he needs some friends with a knack for crowd funding to raise a few bucks so he can turn the production reins over to someone like Tom Hambridge and let him focus on the music. He's got the heart and soul, he just needs a bigger budget so this far into the recording process he doesn't sound like he's still making demos. And that's all that's stopping him from being a solid part of the next generation.

POLLY O'KEARY & the Rhythm Method/50: This white gal with the blues took the pandemic time off to woodshed with her crew and make sure they came back with their strongest set yet. Mission accomplished. Even including a guest spot form the real Lady A, the chops the humor and everything else falls right into place so righteously. Well seasoned and ready for anything, this blues rock outing rocks. Well done.

TERRY KITCHEN/Lost Songs: The award wining Boston folkie proves that in the right hands, it's not a good idea to let anything go to waste. Reconditioning songs that have piled up over the last 30 years that didn't fit into the project he was working on at the time, they come together here as a album that hangs together in it's own right without feeling like something rescued from the Island of Lost Toys. Solid stuff for folkie ears that need a real dose of the real deal.
(Urban Campfire)

VAN STIEFEL/Spirits: I used to listen to Chet Atkins records and get frustrated trying to figure out how he did that. Steifel used to listen to them and deconstruct all the over dubbing. Now, Steifel takes it to the next level of the game and gives us his vision of what might have happened if Atkins listened to Michael Hedges or Kevin Kastning, perhaps even both at the same time. A solo guitar album where he overdubs all the various strings himself, he starts you out thinking you are listening to some update of Santo & Johnny, but that's where he starts, not where he ends. It's succeeds at being an art work that doesn't try to be an art work. It's a tasty guitar tour de force of the unexpected kind.
(Panoramic 21)

TITO JACKSON/Under Your Spell: So, 40 years ago, Jackson would have stormed into Walter Yetnikoff's office, stomped his feet and said "I wanna make a blues album, god dammit!" Walter would have said fine, let Jackson have all his first call pals drop by, the album would have come out, been heralded by the press as a real bag breaker before it sank like a stone pulling Jackson royalty account with it. Do they teach you that at Belmont? But--acting as a totally free agent 40 years later, Jackson does all that without being in anyone's shadow and makes the blues album with his first call pals that he's probably had bubbling in his all these years. Modern takes of the sounds of Gary after the steel mills shut down for the night, this is bad ass stuff that totally stands on it's own two feet. Well done and a real party starter.
(Gulf Coast 9033)

Volume 45/Number 268
July 26, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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