CHUCK WRIGHT'S SHELTERING SKY: The Quiet Riot bass player that's just happened to play with everyone that matters along the way finally drops his solo debut, and instead of it being a pandemic record, he's stepping up for Ukraine. It's a guest star extravaganza and he doesn't limit himself to just one style but it all hangs together properly under his skillful hand. You can just hear these jams rocking out an arena. Hell, all the players on board have at one time or another. Meat and potatoes done the way you like them all the way.
CLINT BAHR/Puzzlebox: In which we find the prog bass ace rounding up pals from all the prog bands that mattered and whipping up a frenzy that doesn't know bounds or boundaries. Refuting the punks claim that these are dinosaurs with dust on them, who's still standing all these years later? Flights of fancy is where this set begins.
HORSLIPS/More Than You Can Chew: It was a lifetime ago these Irishmen were following in the footsteps of Fairport before going harder and going their own way. They never made it as big here as that other bunch of Irish rockers that would come along a few years later, but they were rockers that knew the moves and made them righteously over there. A set that pulls excepts from the 35 disc box that Madfish wisely advises fans is a limited edition, if you ever dug them, this set has a bunch of albums and a bunch of unreleased stuff that'll float the real fans boat.
AL STEWART/Admiralty Lights: From early folkie days to fairly recent times, Madfish begs the question of how much Al Stewart do you want? Excepted from a 50 disc box set the label wisely advises is a strictly limited edition. Always true to his spirit, he doesn't deviate much from "Year of the Cat" and it's a vibe environment uber fans can revel in happily.
JUST/Deep Cycles: The tortured artist effect didn't end with Nick Drake. Following this lad through solid air, he speaks to the moody teen that can't stand all the phonies in his high school and gives hope there's a light at the end of the woods.
JIMMY BRANLY TRIO/Meeting: The uber busy jazz/world drummer found a hole in his schedule to give his own career some oomph. A native Cuban with a predilection for ECM focuses on serving up some solid adult sitting down jazz with distinct Friday afternoon vibes but nothing is strictly limited to anything. Aided by some young cats sure to become hired guns in tier own right(s), this is just one of those sets you'll love to get comfy with when the noise gets to be too much.
MONICA TAYLOR/Trains, Rivers & Trails: Here comes one of those folk flavored sets that's impossible to resist even if you know nothing about red dirt music or can't relate to her Cherokee/Scottish roots. A real heartfelt performer too authentic for this to be merely a performance she can wash off after the lights go down. Everyone is on point here and playing everything just right. This is a set that anyone who votes for Grammys or Americana awards should keep in mind when those ballots come rolling out again. Killer stuff.
QUEEN KONG/Fray: Seriously, how can you not pay attention to a futuristic klezmer band that has it's grooves informed by Hasidic new wave? You might not want to play this at a dark Maga rally (or maybe you might?) but any armchair traveler can dig this just on it not being your father's klezmer. Wildly world beat, it's a sure fire gasser for anyone that likes grooves from elsewhere hat march to their own beat.
ITAMAR ZORMAN/Violin Odyssey: Is the age of hot, young Asian babes that know how to swing a mean classical violin coming to an end? Here we find an Israeli lad that's won enough awards already to choke a horse showing us how it's done. Straying from all the tent poles and chestnuts that real conservatory cats can probably play in their sleep, Zorman shows himself to be a highly skilled, energetic and enthusiastic performer. Programming a program of accessible music that's sure to bring newbies into the tent, this is the work of a rising star to watch out for. Well done.
(First Hand 119)
GROOVE KREWE/Run to Daylight: Fueled by a bunch of Nawlins cats that you've heard plenty of but have probably never heard of (unless you're one of those uber geeks that goes to TV show websites to find out more about what music was used in the show), this bunch knows how to bring the funk right out the box. Hitting with four on the floor from the first byte and not letting up a whit throughout, this is music for party people that need as much of the elemental, cosmic groove as they can get their hands on. Killer stuff that's continually fun without ever getting stoopid.
May 21, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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