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OMAR & THE HOWLERS/I'm Gone: This Texas twister has been at it for 50 years and this release celebrates that fact. Shredding and howling like someone that hasn't been getting AARP discounts for over a decade, Dykes and his pals serve up some of the hottest and coolest blues around. With enough flying time gathered that he could do this in his sleep, Dykes sounds anything but somnambulant---or sleep inducing. Killer stuff from a walking, living legend of the blues.

DAFNIS PRIETO PROVERB TRIO: An improv album recorded in 6 hours by a MacArthur genius grant awardee, the eye on the studio clock gives it a primal tension that is the musical equivalent of cinema verite. Ars gratia artis, kiddies.

L'IL RONNIE & His Grand Dukes/Gotta Strange Feeling: A bunch of white boys that remember the golden days of all the blues and soul cats named L'il something keep it mostly all original this time and show they were killing those Friday nights watching UHF soul parties and switching to high numbered radio stations after that. Rootsy all the way, they did their time and paid their dues in the fascinated white guy bullpen. Now leading with a raw harmonica, they show the lessons were well learned. If you ever been to the roadhouse, this bunch won't have to take you to the woodshed.

RYAN MEAGHER/Tone: The up and coming guitarist claims to be making jazz here inspired by the mountains. It seems more inspired by the cool jazzbos of the 50s when they would take left turns or wander off into jazz into classical territory. A first call sitting down/egghead jazz session, it won't appeal so much to the daddio crowd as it will the hipster that doesn't like it too pretty leaving rough edges in tact.

WILL MAGID/Midnight High: A nuts record? You bet. Opening up with something that sounds like it was unearthed from the 1920s in music and sonics, this electro inspired set takes off from there. Not content to lock itself into one particular thing, this pomo extravaganza will open the ears of anyone with a short attention span to the wonders of the world around them they've been ignoring. A little jazz, a few layers of electro, a patina of world all mixed in a kitchen sink from left field is what you will find here. The perfect choice for an audio getaway when spa music noodling won't do the job.

THE MYSTIX/Mighty Tone: There's people that like to put on jeans and listen to yuppie Americana, and that's ok. But then there are genre fans who find their roots in Michael Hurley, Hazil Adkins and a wealth of other folk/country acts who were left of center and didn't fit the format. This bunch isn't weird like the aforementioned but they don't worry about appealing to yuppies. With right on playing underlying the thrill of finding a wonderful, unexpected treat, there's an underlying 70s spirit that fueled that era's version of genre blending and world elements. It defies an easy tag but it might be a real wake up call for the yuppified roots fan. Solid stuff throughout.

RICH HALLEY 4/Back From Beyond: Free blowing right from the church basement, this is a real throw back to avant garde, black militant jazz that knows where to hit. A nu set of unashamed free jazz, this is right in the pocket of the uber left leaning jazzbo.

ERIC ERHARDT/A Better Fate: You know it's going to be a nice, little jazzbo ear opener when one of the most ardent supporters is Dave Liebman. This sax man is no new comer but this is his first turn in the spotlight. A genre blender kind of fusionist, you can see why this would catch Leibman's fancy. There's a mix of world jazz intertwined with a strong 70s Miles vibe even if this is being led by a horn of a different bent. A solid bet for jazzbo looking for a new high octane thrill ride.

Volume 35/Number 229
June 7, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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