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ED REED/Born to be Blue: I don't know how this guy does it. Now in his 80s, enjoying the fruits of a career that he started at 78, his third record is a monster. Certainly the oldest cat on the rising star list, he's touring the world, sharing stages with august cats and kicking ass all the way. Coming in with a set of songs by writers you know but digging deep in the catalogs for songs you mostly don't know, you don't dig this just because you're being nice to an old man that hasn't let that old rocking chair get him. Really finding his footing this time around, don't let Washington screw with Medicare so this first rate jazz vocal cat can stay on the prowl for a good long time to come. Hot stuff.

TIM KUHL/Doomsayer: After everybody saying drummer man Kuhl is the best thing since sliced bread, he kicks them all in the teeth with this smoky, nightmare scare in search of a low budget horror movie needing a sound track. Experimental stuff that lets him get his "Metal Machine Music" out of is system, this is what a night train through the suburbs of hell must sound like.

PATTY CARPENTER & THE Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band/Come Over: Much like Dory Previn defined divorcee pop in the 70s, Carpenter redefined it in the 10s through the nu eyes of been there done that and took it out past exurbia. With that organic, upper Hudson River valley sound running throughout, this is certainly friendly, distaff pop to play on the way to Whole Foods and yoga class.

LIQUID STRANGER/The Arcane Train: Sinister sounding crossover music, if your idea of crossover is to mix vampires and dub. Hey, it's only right since zombies are originally from right around the corner from the home of dub. Parents will be glad that youthful headache music has turned a corner that doesn't require Advil for when it gets turned up because their kids hate them for being the worst parents in the world and ruining their lives. Be warned, this music is too heavy for dad and lad to share a doob over during quality time. Dad'll freak out.

RICH HALLEY QUARTET/Requiem for a Pit Viper: Tenor sax man that doesn't like to play it straight comes in with a 10s version of classic free jazz. Leading with a civil rights jazz edge, this sounds something like the scores for a whacked out high school marching band that isn't going to give up a version of "Peter Gunn" no matter how much you hold their grades hostage.

GNO/Cannibal Tango: Ever wonder what "Absolutely Free" would have sounded like if Zappa dropped acid and was living through the Nu Great Depression instead of the Vietnam War? Well, these metal head off the wall Frenchies have the answer for you. Outsider metal that goes right back to the classic vibe of being 16 and hating your parents, simply advocating revolution for the hell of it, before those mooks decided being your pal was the route to good parenting. If your ‘rents don't realize they're just your ATM, check it out on Amazon and think strongly about ‘borrowing' their MasterCard.

SUSAN WYLDE/In the Light: The latest spark plug to fire on the Canadian adult music scene is a zesty gal in the blues rock mode that's not really a blues rocker, or at least doesn't cover herself in the Janis clichés. Proving her mettle time and again north of the border, Wylde has the right stuff and knows how to use it. Fun stuff with that certain snap that really makes it stand out, no matter how far she's traveling down memory lane, this is well worth seeking out for a treat you didn't expect.

TERAKAFT/Aratan N Azawad: The modern, desert version of black militant music, pre-rap division, this virtual, indigenous super group serves up the contemporary sound of the desert with Texas sounding slide guitar, certainly sanded down, bringing up the rear behind militant sounding chants. The new sound of liberation music as the changes come thick and fast to that region. They're plugging in down Sahara way.

Volume 34/Number 224
June 14, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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