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ELLA MAE MORSE/Barrelhouse Boogie and the Blues: One of the first artists signed to Capitol when they first started, Morse was a multi genre singer that covered the waterfront and was right up there with Ella, Dinah and the other vocal greats of the time. This fatly tracked set scores her legendary album and finishes out the rest of the bytes with a load of key tracks that keep the party going. Covering a lot of ground, she could play in Wanda Jackson's arena as easily as she could Ella Fitzgerald's and that probably why fans need a re-education on this great today. Wonderful hillbilly soul that you better get hip to if you want to keep your hipster stripes up.

GENE VINCENT/The Capitol Years: Certainly all you could ever need to appreciate Vincent as this collects seven albums and a ton of supplemental material. One of the original purveyors of rockabilly cool, Vincent was one of those 50s cats with a load of trouble on his mind brewing under the surface, he helped define terms like ‘rockabilly rebel' and his influence can still be felt today. This music here is very much a product of it's time but it wears well and a whole raft of today's rebels without a clue could get a few clues from the high energy stuff running wild here. This is a collection of four discs that you'll rip through before you even know where the time went. Hot stuff from a cool cat.

SKILLET & LEROY/2 or 3 Times a Day: Talk about life on the chitlin circuit, with Aunt Esther on board to make them a trio, this bunch that later found financial security on "Sanford & Son" worked hard to keep the blue laughs coming for the down home crowd. Like blues singers looking to find a way out and have something to lift their spirits, this bunch shows what it was like in the recently old America where the black tax was paid in blood and the notion of there being two Americas wasn't so far fetched, especially if you traded in life on the plantation to move to the city and find you were living life behind the red line. Just another look at a form of ethnic humor that really hit's the target when laughs like this were restricted to after hours.

JULIE ANDREWS & CAROL BURNETT/Legends of Broadway-The CBS Television Specials: Kind of an interesting before and after look at the two superstars when they were first right on the edge and after when they were already household names. With Broadway and TV accolades already under their belts when they first came together, they were determined to make the most of the fairly new medium in service of making it make the most of them. A sold entertainment from a time when entertainment was it's own statement, in both instances the duo bring music, charm and high octane energy to the proceedings making this a natch for vocal fans of a certain age. It should also be a text book for talent show wannabes that need to know the difference between emoting and calling pigs. This is a full on great time that really entertains across two well stacked discs.

LIZA MINNELLI/Legends of Broadway-Live at Winter Garden: An even bigger triumph than "Liza With a Z", this cleffer from the hit live show was pulled shortly after it's release and is finally getting the chance to escape from the vault with some additional Kander/Ebb material that wasn't on the original release. Back in the day, you really needed urbane tastes to fully appreciate Minnelli, but now, this can be appreciated by any vocal fan with a taste for hot and heavy. With a program and style the Callaway sisters are trying to emulate with their new show, this is the template from where all contemporary vocal gymnastics flow from. A killer recap of an evening form Broadway royalty at the top of her game.

CHAD DANIELS/You're the Best: For his second outing, Daniels is really pulling it together. With a dead pan Martin Mull like delivery sending out an everyman version of Rodney Dangerfield while refusing to be a victim, Daniels shows a sharp wit, keen eye and ear for the absurdities of daily life and a desire to make it to the top ranks. Sounding very much like you'll only be able to see him in clubs only so much longer, the draining mishagos of daily life hasn't sounded so funny in a long time. I'll leave it to you to decide if that slapping sound you hear is applause or the sound of face palming. Think about while you have lunch at the airport with your anachronistally racist grandmother. A real laugh riot. And next week looks to be a big one for Daniels with this album coming out Tuesday, coinciding with an appearance on Conan. Check it all out.

ROBERT DUCHAINE/Offensive...But Not in a Good Way: The latest in a long line of pissed off comics that like to spew venom like the way the kids in the back row of the classroom did, Duchaine tosses grenades and hit's the target, even as shrapnel tears through the collateral damage. Since we're living in times where there's so much to be pissed off about, this guy has plenty of material to work with, and he does. If you like it dark and hostile, this guy is a take no prisoners version of Lisa Lampanelli where nothing is safe and nothing is sacred.

ADAM CAROLLA/Not Taco Bell Material: Now pushing 50, the angry young man thing that powered Carolla's career out of blue collar dead end stuff might be at a make or break point as there are angry old men he's soon going to have to compete with. This leg of his autobiog looks at the things that shaped his youth and forced him to go for the gusto because once social Darwinism kicks in, shit hole living becomes very unacceptable. Deftly mixing wit with hostility, the underdog thing he presents is not a persona, this cuts to the quick because it's the real deal. Fans are sure to love it as they know his cadences from his pod casts and other media, newbies will need a breaking in period to digest his street guy sound. Pretty solid contemporary humor from a contemporary humorist.

Volume 35/Number 236
June 14, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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