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LATVIAN BLUES BAND/Unreal: Ah, that wonderful elusive thing called cred. With a name like theirs, this band could easily wind up in the ‘later' pile since it sounds like the punch line to a joke. Of course, being produced by Duke Robillard gives this bunch of Euros a whole different slant. Actually being from Latvia, they soaked up the sound but they don't sell it back to us like the Brits did in the 60s. This crew sounds like Blood Sweat and Tears as produced by Steve Cropper and it really works in a cool way. Esteemed on their home turf, they make the jump across the pond in a way many local luminaries don't. The Stax show band playing the soundtrack for the movie in your mind, this crew adds some delightful special sauce to the blues mix delivering a rollicking good time for all. Check it out.

KEITH LITTLE/Take It Off and Get Loose With It: Hey kids, don't forget Cincinnati is just across the river from the South so don't go laughing it off when Little tells you he's been Cincinnati's king of the blues for 35 years. Mixing the earthiness of Bobby Rush and John Lee Hooker wit the electricity of Albert and Freddie King, Little is the kind of party animal that makes white boys think they have soul not caring if everyone else is laughing at them do the reverse Oreo white boy dance. Little is a gasser it's about time the rest of the country got to know. Hot stuff.

MARK BENNO/I Got It Bad: Is that old guy on the cover really the same guy that's on the cover of all those lps in the basement your pop ripped off from Record Club of America? The one where he's posing with that old guy that's hanging with Elton John? This old guy with a psych degree really used to rock with the elite? Same guy. Kicking it off the clock style, he's still a rocker in his soul after all these years, and he's still a rocker on wax with the help of the West Side Horns who have well established their roots cred on a bunch of dates in the recent past. It might be a long way in a lot of ways from life in the fast lane but Benno is making roots/pop for all the members of his generation that aren't ready to go gently into that good night (after their second mortgages get foreclosed). One seriously great after hours roadhouse date throughout.

TERRY DAVIDSON & THE GEARS/Damnation Blues: This 40 year vet of the blues circuit isn't about making polite blues for suburban blues societies. After all these years, he still thinks he can burn like Stevie Ray Vaughn, and he will persuade you he's right. Amped up power guitar driven blues rock that feels like an all night jam of years gone by (like when he was a kid probably doing it night after night), this is a massively hot guitar time for powering your next all nighter well into the morning. Hot stuff.

ANDREA MARR/Little Sister Got Soul: I don't know if it's what's in the water or what's in the Watney's but we just found another killer lady blues singer from Australia. Recently honored as the 2009 Australian female blues artist of the year, Marr works the corner where Stax meets Northern Soul and is the perfect definition of a contemporary, blues diva. Playing at the top of her game, she's been honing her act down under since 1997 and this cd shows her time is now. A winning set throughout that blues fans across the board will merrily champion to all uninitiated ears. Check it out.

CHAZ DePAOLO/Bluestopia: Being a working blues man might not make you rich but it sure is a nice way to make a living. DePaolo is butting up against the blues world's glass ceiling where you play at the top of your game but you'll never get plugged by Perez Hilton. A first class guitar slinger that's equally at home being featured at a Hendrix tribute as he is touring with the reformed Groundhogs, the road has taught him how to make very comfortable blues that can be enjoyed sitting or standing. Totally plugged in but more of a showman than a shredder, there's a real party going on here.

RON HACKER & the Hacksaws/Burnin': A back story we'd all like to tell---Hacker picks up guitar at 27, befriends the blues elder statesmen and old masters and becomes the shredingest blues rock guitar slinger around in the process. A staple of the San Francisco blues scene, this is simply an old fashioned blues rock burner that starts out in high octane and heats up from there. A wild ride you ought to take.

RHONDA BYRNE/The Power: If you got down with "The Secret" and didn't get everything you want, that's because you didn't understand how to use "The Power". With Rhonda Byrne back for another round of helping you get your life out of the mud, she delivers the power. You have it, you just obviously don't know how to use it. Help yourself to a heaping helping of positive thought spread over 5 discs as read by the author.

Volume 34/Number 7
November 7, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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