ALLEN AUSTIN-BISHOP/Why Go?: A deep cat that freely mixes jazz, cabaret and performance in a program of originals and covers is all about delivering the show. A forceful and clear voiced presence makes this come together nicely in fine style. Solid, sophisticated entertainment.
MARGARET SLOVAK TRIO/Ballad fro Brad: The electric jazz guitarist is finally primed for a comeback album after a crippling car accident that derailed and rising and promising career. With another appearance of Harvie S who is turning up everywhere these days in the background, this set of smart originals is a warm and welcoming entrée into the after hours club you want to join. Solid stuff from a cat that's back.
KABIR DALAWARI/Awareness: Chicago is in the house as the drummer rounds up local Matt Ulery and some others to serve up a solid jazz quartet sound that lists to the progressive side but is welcoming to all---especially those who dig the after hours vibe when the musos lay back but don't lay out. In the pocket throughout.
ERICH CAWALLA/Great American Songbook: Another tip toe through the chestnuts? Another professional (this time an accountant) that hates his work and wants to be a swinging jazzbo? Really? Why not? Cawalla wanted this so bad he's paid his dues with everyone from Marie Osmond to Gene Chandler and shows he knows how to let his genie out of the bottle. Whether jazzy or slow grooves, he's in his métier and makes this the fun kind of romp this kind of music should be.
JEANNIE C. RILEY/On the Honky Tonk High way: This fatly tracked retrospective is a revelation for so many reasons. After "Harper Valley PTA", who knew she had 7 more hit albums on the same label? Or recorded a bunch of songs before others had hits with them? Or was every inch the sassy, strutting honky tonk gal you knew she had to be under all that fried chicken hair piled up. This is the stuff people think about when they say today's country mostly sucks---even if they never heard it. Check this journey through the past out, especially if you have a long drive through the night ahead. Still relevant, still blistering.
(Bear Family 17636)
LENNY MARCUS TRIO/When a Door Opens: No frippery or frills needed as the pianist and his crew deliver their latest in solid listening date fashion. A mostly all original tribute to his musical heroes, this is one cat who plays like his job isn't work. A smoking set of five o'clock somewhere in the world jazz done right.
JIM DAN DEE/Real Blues: A bunch of Canadian white boys with the blues that don't feel the need to color strictly between the lines rock it up, shake it up and shake it loose in hard charging Midwest bar band style. A first class party crew that isn't afraid to take it down and dirty.
ANTHONY GERACI/Blues Called My Name: If that long ago first wave of white boys that rocked up the blues knew the difference between a groove and a jam, there would have been a lot fewer records in the bargain bins that eventually got scrapped. This cat that's proven his piano/organ mastery in the past delivers the penpenultimate set this time around. With a guest list worth the price of admission alone, this is the text book on how to get it done. Just plain sizzling.
(Blue Heart 28)
ROD PICOTT/Paper Hearts & Broken Arrows: With a title that sounds like it could have come from John Prine and songs that sound like they could have come from John Stewart or Jackson Browne after they'd wandered off the reservation, Picott's pandemic album is the one that could teach everyone using that epithet a thing or two. The ace story teller brings things to their basics, delivers his sharpest writing yet and totally knocks you over. Singer/songwriter material at the top of it's game.
(Welding Rod )
MERLE JAGGER/Trash Talking Guitars: And here it is: the classic subversive, insurgent country record Bloodshot could never make as hard as they tried. Less ironic that Commander Cody or Kinky Friedman, this is the kind of drinking and dancing music any high hippie at Armadillo World Headquarters would have a great time with. Reaching the heights GP wanted to reach with his cosmic American music, If you want to rock up country without making it sound like 70s AOR, this is how you do it. Killer stuff throughout.
May 9, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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