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KRISTY/My Romance: Do we really need another young chanteuse singing stuff from the classic songbook? Only if she has something on the ball like Kristy as she enters the family business and brings chops and genes with her. With well honed cocktail chops, she brings a slacker sensibility to the cabaret for something different that works well. With some crème of the crop players hanging in with her, this date comes in under your radar and really grabs hold. A delightful new take on something very familiar.

KIM BEGGS/Blue Bones: Award winning Canadian folkie is about as far from Joni Mitchell as you can get so don't look for those comparisons. Purely a down home, back porch singer/songwriter with a vulnerability that betrays her background as a laborer who took the long way around to music. Making the most of the miles on her odometer, Beggs will win you over right out of the box with her little tales of every day life, it's wins and loses all tempered with a hope for tomorrow. Simply smashing contemporary folkie sounds that are first class all the way.

MICHAEL DEASE/Grace: No expense was spared in making this trombonist's label debut. With a brand name crew behind him and triple scale guests bringing up the rear, Dease gets a chance to shine on some standard and familiar repertoire that he gets to put his own stamp on. Easily accessible chops and a body of work that lives up to the set's title make this a dandy collection that any straight ahead jazzbo with clean ears will love right out of the gate. Well done throughout.

FLYNNVILLE TRAIN/Redemption: Former sidekicks of Toby Keith find that the passion of real fans is a great thing as some hard core fans started a label so these blue collar country rockers can continue their recorded ways. A nice throwback to classic outlaw music, this amped up version of country is the music of the unpaved streets and it rings loud, clear, true and proud. Without any compromise, this bunch shows they have what it takes and know how to deliver it. Wild stuff for fans of classic Hank Jr, Waylon and Jones as well as Tucker and Skynyrd. Hot stuff.

JAMES LEE BURKE (read by Will Patton)/The Glass Rainbow: Cop tales like this are more fun to hear than read in this ADA world. Burke brings Dave Robicheaux back for round 18 as he returns to Louisiana, family conflict and the bad blood that courses through the veins of some southern families. His adopted daughter is taking time off from law school to write a book, and she gets her attention turned by some rascals that offer to open doors for her. Dave knows better but you can't tell your kids anything, especially when they are adopted. The grand master mystery writer earns his spurs yet again with some juicy writing, violence that builds and a solid story line that keeps you moving right along with it. A solid bet for mystery fans that need that juicy beach tale that spread out over 14 unabridged discs.

DALE CARNEGIE Sales System/Sell Like a Pro: When life as we know it is blowing to shit everywhere around us, it's time to get back to basics and the Carnegie Institute has updated this classic salesman bible to encompass email, short attention spans and all the road blocks and impediments that get in the way of yes, when you're dealing with a real prospect that's here to do business as opposed to beat you out of a free lunch. It's laid out for you very neatly and you have to remember, these days everyone is selling everything, including themselves, constantly. Get it? 6 discs

JENNIFER WEINER (read by Judith Light)/Fly Away Home: Holy mackerel, there's so much estrogen dripping of this I think I just grew ovaries from touching it. A mother and two daughters find that even though they each got what they want in their own way, their lives are shit and they hate it all. It took the padre of the clan, a senator that got caught fucking around, to make them all question the shallow emptiness of it all and wonder what comes next. Shopping, what else? 14.5 hours of unabridged chick lit wallowing in self pity that at least winds up with the distaff part of the family rediscovering each other.

BRAD THOR (read by Armand Schultz)/Foreign Influence: And so we watch the flowering of a young writer with ties to Homeland Security writing geopolitical intrigue with a hero returning for another go around. Connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated incidents half a world apart, the plucky protagonist pulls it together with help from unlikely associates. Heavy handed guy fiction, Thor might well be on the right path as there's probably a lot of juicy stuff he leaves out that could make this sizzle. New intrigue for a new world.
10 cds/unabridged

Volume 33/Number 244
July 4, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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