CRASH TAYLOR/Retired Outlaw: A reluctant performer almost of the same wave length of a Bobby Neuwirth or Donnie Fritts, this cat from a long family back ground in music does the Covid reach out thing with reflection for those that like life on off the beaten track. Country folk directly from the college coffee house from days gone by.
NIGHTHAWKS/Established 1972: Like fellow half centennials Asleep at the Wheel, there might just be one cat with his hand on the wheel all this time but the crew is kicking ass and the geezer has no dust on him. Still a reigning champ roots rocking outfit, they were out of step with what was in the air then and now they are rocking survivors. A hot party that rocks righteously!
(Vizz Tone NH01)
J-RAD COOLEY/Yard Sale: Don't let trying so hard to look older than his years, this tyro white boy with the blues makes his mark by not being derivative and bringing his own stamp this early in the game. It's hard to miss his influences that have become tropes by now but you know he doesn't sing into his hairbrush at the bathroom mirror. A snazzy next gen cat that's keeping the tradition alive by moving it forward.
(Vizz Tone JRC 1)
BARRY ORECK/Leap Year: There's certainly no shame in being one of Pete Seeger's links in the chain and soldiering forward with some like minded pals in tow as long it would make Pete smile by being unique rather than manqueing around. You could certainly hear these New Yorkers coming down to Kerrville and elbowing established others aside for their place a the campfire and doing it credibly. This is certainly a right time for sincere, heartfelt folkie moves like the ones rolling out here.
ANDREW LEAHEY & THE HOMESTEAD/American Static V. 2: The new kid continues to fill the void in heartland rock with hooks and moves that keep shed parking lots lit well after local curfews after the show is over. Presenting the second half of a proposed double album, this crew is radio ready and shows they can go the distance easily.
ANN PEEBLES & the Hi Rhythm Section/Live in Memphis: It's one of those things. A local Memphis cat decides to promote a show with Peebles the same night Michael; Bolton roll s into town at the top of his game. Ooops. Anyway, like I keep telling you, good taste is timeless. This might be a 30 year old session recorded live, when you're dealing with a crack crew, no excuses are needed of given. A rollicking soul set that doesn't smack of show room jive, it's a great, soulful recreation of a wish you were there moment.
(Memphis International 2038)
HARVEY VALDES/Novare: Here's a switch up. A shredarooney looking guitarist transposes Bach lute works for electric guitar, solo. It's not classical, jazz, new age or etc. It's just well played, adult instrumental music that any self respecting yuppie with up market feelings would be proud to have playing from his balcony or behind dinner trying to impress that certain someone. Classy and tasteful throughout.
AAKU QUINTET/Live: The gang behind so many Crimson splinter albums gazes in another direction and comes forth with some minimalism stuff that has a real egghead feel, particularly for a non-classical session. Several tracks are music to sleep by, they profess, and they aren't kidding. Plan accordingly.
(7D Media 2201)
ANDY OSTWALD TRIO/Field Guide: A vet Bay area piano trio that has the sound and fury of a swinging crew that could take root best in that environment. Sassy, summer Friday after work sounds----to hear this at that time would be the only reason we could think of for going back to the office now. There's no question they're tight and have it going on and you can tell they play it all on the natch. Well done.
KARL SILVEIRA/A Porta Aperta: A bunch of cats that are slowly but surely turning up everywhere in Canadian jazz come together for this bone man's solo debut and you can tell no one is playing like they are watching the clock. Energetic and engaging with a lot of switch backs and surprises, they all know their jazz and how to make contemporary music that grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Well played throughout.
March 21, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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