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THE McCLYMONTS/Wrapped Up Good: These three rocked up country singing sisters have already conquered Australia and have now set their sights n Nashville. This album has already gone gold in Oz but they made it with an eye toward conquering these shores calling in various guns from Stuart Duncan to Dan Dugmore to keep it real. Just the right age to be the kids of Dixie Chicks, they work that groove well and provide the sugar and sass that the Chicks and the Courtyard Hounds haven't been coming in with lately. They prove that globalization is taking root everywhere. Solid, contemporary commercial country that hit's the target.

TOMMY VIG/Welcome to Hungary: When you're 73 and you've left Hollywood and capitalism behind, you're pretty much free to do things as you see fit. Free jazz big band that certainly has it's roots in church basement jazz, recording from Hungary notwithstanding. The liner book comes with a lengthy hippy diatribe against selling out and this cat can have his opinion since he's been on both sides of the fence. If music from labels with names like BYG, Actual or Celluloid means anything to you, this left leaning big band date will resonate with you in a big way. Certainly music for free thinkers.

SAMANTHA FISH/Runaway: We recently got a taste of this Fish on a label collective set that showcased their guitar slinging ladies. Fish turns up the heat here on her solo debut loaded with swagger, attitude and chops to spare. Avoiding all the blues clichés she can while still staying within the lines, Fish is set to take her place in the line up of rocking ladies we love. Smoking, amped up blues/rock that just doesn't quit and keeps you coming back for more. Hot stuff.

TOM HAMBRIDGE/Boom!: Hambridge might just be the hottest white boy working in the background in the blues today. With pent up energy to spare, he rocks out in a mixture of high octane spark and musical comfort food. Knowing what it takes to reach an audience, Hambridge is right in the moment with the listener. More of an adult rock date, it's not about the hits here, it's about hitting you between the eyes. Hot stuff that hooks you right away and never lets go. For every fogey that misses the quirky records labels used to make under the aegis of artist development, this is a spiritual blast from the past sure to awaken tired ears. Well done.

STEFAN ZENIUK/Gato Loco: College kids may cotton to this as it sounds like a pomo college marching band refusing to play "Peter Gunn" or "Sing Sing Sing" during half time at the homecoming football game. An enthusiastic crowd is in the background urging this crew on as they deliver their take on deconstructed big, brass band stuff that's mostly original here. Quite off beat stuff that is looking to push some envelopes.

Volume 34/Number 284
August 13, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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