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THE RUNNING KIND/Girl for all the World: Bubbling under SoCal alt.country crew that seems more like a throw back to the golden era of country rock than they do for what passes as classic Chicago alt.country or insurgent Nashville country. Deliciously right in the pocket, this sounds like a side project Emmylou Harris would have produced when Warners was giving her the freedom to do so. Super tasty genre set that hits all the high spots needed to make this a real winner. Check it out.

MITCH MILLER & the Gang/Peace Sing Along: How did I miss this record? 50s hipster humorist, Jack Douglas, used to quip in the early days of Bob Dylan's popularity, that Mitch Miller would be coming out with his protest record any day now, "Bitch With Mitch". I told that joke to everyone until no one knew who Mitch Miller was any more. And now I find such an album came out in 1971? 40 years later I'm just finding out about "Bitch With Mitch"? Top heavy with 4 Pete Seeger's, a Dylan, Garth Brooks fave song, "Carry It On" and more, this is unbelievable, especially since Miller hated rock and delayed Columbia's entry in the genre. Looking like one of the old fart defendants in the Chicago 7 in the back cover pic, this is just the greatest, coolest way to kick off the Mitch Miller centennial. On the more commercial stuff, the Sing Along Gang gives the material nice over night camp renditions, but on heavy movement songs like "Carry It On'.....fire up a doob first, please; they sound so out of touch it's hinges on pomo humor. Get this record, if only so you can help me keep the Jack Douglas joke alive!

PHIL OCHS/IN Concert: Not the usual live album because Ochs was at the end of his Elektra contract; him and Jac Holzman were no longer getting along too well, and Ochs never met a click track he ever liked so his records almost came out like non-records anyway. With a mostly new material set, the early Ochs classics are missing because they were supposed to be. Veering from stuff from the center of the heart to timely humor and timely politics, he really was much more than the 'poor man's Dylan" as a good listen to this will show. Certainly not a voice to be lost to the ages, Collectors Choice has been on the forefront of keeping Ochs oeuvre in the consciousness. This is one of his killer sets.

KARTICK & GOTAM/Business Class Refugees: It must be fun to be a college kid these days. What's this? Down tempo, belly dance electronica? It's certainly great stuff to fire up a doob to. A gumbo of eastern hemisphere grooves without borders, this is mind bending music for when you want to chill and Windham Hill is just too old for you to bother with. Left leaning, under the radar wildness that shows what happens when you can just pick up your wireless laptop and have global access at your finger tips no matter where ever or however you are. Kind of like everything exotic you've ever heard at once, this forces you to open your ears to a crazy good time. Well done.

ROCKY JACKSON/Testify: What happens when you're close to retiring but the economy has sent your investments to hell? You keep on playing white boy blues with the passion you did when you weren't close to retirement age. Jackson revs it up on the corner of Austin, Chicago and Delta with the kind of personal take on the blues that any aging boomer white boy into blues can relate to easily. Forget the Piedmont and keep the rock rolling. First class after hours/roadhouse blues that you don't have to go to a bad neighborhood to hear.

YOTAM/Resonance: Yotam has been making the rounds of the jazz indies as well as the stages around the world, impressing all along the way. This date finds him in the company of the pros that he should have around him, serving up his world influenced jazz guitar with nothing but special sauce all around. Covering everything from bop to Brazil with stops back in his native Israel to spice up some local oriented stuff, this is a first class ax meister/guitar slinger that's in full arrival mode. A tasty set that mainstream jazz guitar fans will spread the word on. Hot stuff.

LORRAINE KLASSEN/Africa Calling: Klassen has been at this for 30 years and she's savvy enough to know that while music is the universal language, if you want gringos to pay attention, hit them with a vacation music record and let them get in line from there. Upbeat, often with a party feel and atmosphere, this sounds like South African music of the streets. It might well be, but it's really a clutter free, well produced date that lets the singer highlight her well skilled wares in the finest of lights. A mighty world beat that hits the heights with energy to spare, this is a fine addition to your summer listening shelf that feels like it will go perfectly with anything you can/could/would do in warm weather. Enchanting throughout, this charmer has it all on the ball.

PREACHER'S KID: Nice little feel good movie that finds "Footloose" being morphed into a black girl's coming of age story when she wants so bad to make it as a singer, gets swept off her feet by a looker in a traveling gospel show and leaves down against her stern pop's wishes. How will this former member of Destiny's Child handle the long odds, the parental disapproval and the nascent feelings that sprout in young womanhood? In up market Tyler Perry fashion, of course. A nice slice of musical family entertainment where the blu ray advantage is definitely put to good use in the audio. Bluray also comes in a combo pack with a standard dvd and a digital copy.

Volume 33/Number 186
May 6, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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