TODD SHARPVILLE/Medication time: Well, haven't we come a long way since Wild Man Fischer?!? This white boy with the blues explores how a divorce drove him into a mental institution and through the dark side. Well, this kind of stuff is coming out into the open without stigma these days, right? Who knows how many people are suffering in silence that might find this the answer to the call for help they've been suppressing. Blues rock exploring the blues in the 21st century----far, far away from the cotton fields. With Duke Robillard in the producer's chair you know this isn't some off the wall vanity project.
(Dixie Frog 8834)
DAVE THOMAS/Road to the Blues: Here's a nice anomaly for you. A Welsh white boy with the blues has too many miles on him to have anything left to prove so he rolls things out in amiable fashion that makes a blues entre that's friendly to all. With a vibe that puts him right in the front line with any other A list Americana cat, this record is the equivalent of that comfy old shoe that you still like slipping into.
(Blonde on Blonde 1)
STEPHEN PETER RODGERS/Speck on a Clover: A CT local hero shifts gears and comes out with the darkest album of his long career that's the product of a dark time he passed through. Certainly a change up from the spirited bluegrass romp he dropped his last time out, it'll be an interesting thing to see if his long time fans keep up with him or point to how they have problems of their own. Down mouth marches on.
(Unfinished Hearts 1001)
JACOB CHUNG/Epistle: The oldest member of Chung's band is 24 and yet they come out with a debut album that full of the freshest, forthright, four on the floor daddio sounds you can find. A bunch of swingers that know the history without the baggage, they zip the ears open with a delightful sound that uplifts while it makes you smile. Sizzling stuff that's going to make itself known.
CALEB WHEELER CURTIS/Heat Map: The Orrin Evans sidekick assumes the leadership position with an all star crew in tow, including Evans, for an adventurous new set that takes improv and moves it through history from bop until bop til you drop. Heavy duty listening jazz, this blows things so wide open the jazz police will probably run for the hills. A tasty swing through left of center swinging times.
LYLE ODJICK/Through the Rain: Statesiders and blues snobs are going to have to sit up and take notice of how traditional Chicago blues evolved organically in modern Ottawa, Canada. Without a hint of irony, this crew heated up the frozen north with their harp blowing, guitar slinging, rough edged vocals presentation and have got the form and format down righteously. These cats have really got Muddy smiling down on their efforts.
RZN8R/Closing the Golden Gate: A fan's upside of the deconstruction era is that the super cool are free to make futuristic records that won't be appreciated for another ten years but uber fans can dig now. A modern kitchen sink of textures, this will probably be soul music a decade from now but you can get down with it now. For listeners that want the future here and now---here it is.
June 20, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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