BROCK DAVIS/Song Waiting to be Sung: Emo comes to folk music as this singer/songwriter reflects on a life not so well lived ultimately reaching a conclusion of redemption and optimism. Not just reflecting on his time and tide, he also takes a few swipes at the times and tides of all of us. Reflective stuff that rides the introspective tip nicely but relies heavily on the going within stuff.
MICKI FREE/Turquoise Blue: Having come a long way from "Dancing in the Sheets", Free let's fly with a blast of blues rock shrederooni that shows why he's lauded by so many of the genre's greats. A high octane, high energy freight train with some stellar pals on board, he's not showing his age and delivers in fine style.
PEGGY DUQUESNEL/Piano for My Soul: The pandemic has sent girl friend music into joy territory, full speed ahead. A set of music that can wash over you, Duquesnel's brand of nu new age has the spiritual bent that nu girl friend music keeps tipping the cap to and is basically an instrumental manifesto to stop living like you have a hot pepper up your butt. Gentle stuff that avoids noodling clichés, this is a fine modern take on urban chill.
(Joy Spring 66)
CHIELI MINUCCI/Someone's Singing: One of an army of great modern guitarists, Minucci opts for the low key approach to putting his estimable chops on display. Letting the music speak for itself rather than putting the pyrotechnics front and center, this delicate album is a fine tonic to tame the tenor of the times. With crafty simplicity, it's a hypnotic session that has the smarts to never wear out it's welcome as it's sure to hold rapt attention again and again and again. Well done.
TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA/Safe House: Anyone still around that thought this was a riff on Richard Brautigan when they first started out? One note joke, huh? These DIY godfathers still have the chops and humor in tact after 45years of playing together. They might look and sound like geezers but the tunes show they have younger spirits than many of the youngsters plying their trades today. Back porch/folk music that might not have wandered far from it's beginnings but it never hoes the same row twice.
BRENT LAIDLER/Wouldn't be Here Without You: Indiana, the surprising land of great guitarists, gives us yet another jazzbo that's too busy living to tour and spread his wings wider. Kicking things off with a great blast of summer jazz, one we're all more than ready for, this is simply a flat out enjoyable set that doesn't need to take us any farther. A joyous gasser, this is a celebration of it being 5 p.m. somewhere in the world---or a call to shut down your Zoom. Solid.
TOM KEENLYSIDE/Night at the Espresso: A tribute to Vancouver jazz by a mainstay of Vancouver jazz, this windy jazzbo and his pals don't play like they have 50 years under their belts but I guess you have to season for that long to be this smooth. Often genre splicing seamlessly, these are jazzbos that are here to play and they do a great job of leading the way. With a little something for all taste buds, the mix never turns to mush and is always engaging. A sweet time throughout.
SAM KIRMAYER/In this Moment: A Montreal jazz guitarist that knows how to lead an ensemble as well as be part of it, he serves up a combo set here that's a wonder of small group recording. Tasty throughout, the chops are here in full view but they never overwhelm. If he brings this stuff to your town, be prepared to pay the babysitter overtime because you won't be going home until the last note fades away.
SULLY BAND/Let's Straighten It Out: A variation on white boys with the blues, this large group of mostly white boys (and a few gals) infected with soul and R&B sprinkle in a few tent poles but are mostly unafraid of hitting deep tracks and obscurities by the legends of the art form. Way more of a soul party than a frat party, this gem shows why this crew are the darlings of San Diego. Killer stuff that gets the party started and keeps the fire going.
MAMAK KHADEM/Remembrance: This indigenous Persian music may have some commercial touches for greater accessibility but it's the real deal, not stuff for the average armchair traveler. A local that walks it like she talks (sings?) it, this is really a fast ball down the middle for people that miss the auld sod (sand?).
(Six Degrees 61314)
February 18, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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