KATE MACLEOD/Uranium Maiden: This musical scion of Rosalie Sorrels has all the check boxes that could let you write her off as an art chick but she has so many more check boxes checked and such deep chops that you can get cynical at your own risk. A double disc of music created over several years inspired by her home in Utah, the old west is alive and well in her award winning hands. Something of an expansive history lesson that doesn't at all smack of being good for you (without tasting good), you can use this as a yard stick to define the difference between a musician and a celebrity. For real musos preferred. Well done.
SARA SCHOENBECK: I was going to say I was feeling a touch of an AEC vibe going on here and who pops up in this album of duets but Roscoe Mitchell. A bassoon explorer, Schoenbeck duets here with an eclectic bunch that cover everything from arts council music to Wilco. Cutting edge stuff all the way, it's a sweet spot for Sunday afternoon recital fans.
BRUCE COCKBURN/Greatest Hits (1970-2020): My goodness, it hardly seems like half a century has gone by since Cockburn first showed up on the radar as an erstwhile folkie producing Murray McLaughlin and making sincere solo albums. Now a double disc of the best from each of the albums over the years gets rounded up here in 30 tracks that sum up a musical life well lived and properly awarded and rewarded. A seminal cat that's never been aforesaid to change his skin as time and tide varied, the consistent fact here is non stop quality. He's the folkie's folkie.
(True North 786)
ERNEST TROOST/Saving the Republic: Once again, Troost hits it out of the park and makes it look so simple. A multi-instrumentalist that can create a whole folkie milieu all on his own, the voice and the writing are always first rate. Working with the same words as everybody else, he hooks them together with a magic thread that makes them all deliver such meaty meaning. This stuff is gold when it comes to back porch sounding, homey stuff that touches the heart.
(Travelin Shoes 1005)
AL GROMER KHAN/Gentle Aspect: I'm not sure how to say someone is ratcheting up their ambient game, but that's exactly what Khan is doing here. Turning up the quiet, this might just be the most quiet recording ever made. Getting deeply in touch with his Indian studies, Khan rockets to the top of the girl friend music charts with this tribute to the female power in music. A dose of sonic filigree, this goes way past mere head music, this is head expansion music for the nu new age. A wild ride.
CANADIAN BRASS/Canadiana: This is a no brainer. CB ditches classical repertoire this time around to focus on pop tunes that made impact by Canadians. Putting their own stamp on everything from Joni Mitchell to Rush and popsters come lately, they invented the knack for taking what should be a gift shop record and turning it into an event. You don't have to like anything here to love this record. No matter what changes the group goes through, the quality remains the same. Hot stuff.
MARTHA & THE MUFFINS/Marthology-In and Out Takes: The first Canadian punk band to take the world by storm, it's easy to overlook all the ground breaking stuff they had a hand in at the time. Kind of a behind the music set for real fans of the band, this personally chosen trip down memory lane telescopes the last 35 years of closet cleaning onto a jam packed disc sure to please the fans. No mere odds and ends collection, they still pack a wallop even when unboxing the unreleased and overlooked.
JOHN PATITUCCI & ANDY JAMES/An Evening With: That rumbling you hear is Norman Granz turning over in his grave. This vocal/bass duo and their wide ranging, well chopped pals deliver the kind of candlelight, late evening set that Granz forgot to make when he had the chance. An utter mind blower, this goes way beyond rec room/mood music---this is the real deal. Absolutely killer stuff.
LOWELL FULSON/Live!: Way back before Jeff Dale became acknowledged as a blues living legend, he was a 20 something with hopes and dreams and chops just like the rest of us. He thought he made it to the top of the heap backing up Lowell Fulson one night in LA. This document from that night sounds like the wild, raucous electric post war blues that was blasting out of the Aristocrat when Fulson was on Chess in days and times we'll never get back. So authentic you can almost feel Chester Burnett beating some mook in the back room, it's no wonder that any one who was anyone in English rock couldn't wait to get their hands on this stuff and sell it back to us. Enjoy this modern trip down memory lane with one of the cats that was there at the creation.
(Pro Sho Bidness 1983)
A VERY TIMMY BROWN CHRISTMAS: A fun country holiday ep that brings the laughs, the tradition and the tears all within a few songs. A very nice holiday hors d'ouver.
December 6, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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