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CEE CEE JAMES/Blood Red Blues: There was this primal side to Bonnie Raitt that got released when she was a sideman on Maria Muldaur's Telarc albums, and that grit is where James starts on her latest primal blues/rock date. A poster girl for people that are currently hoping to find anti-slick in vogue, this self described vocal volcano is delivering all the goods with none of the hype. For every contemporary gal in her rebel without a clue phase, James wraps it all up for them in her blues and goes over the top in letting everyone know what the blues are about. Probably an abandoned baby left on the roadside of the crossroads where Robert Johnson lost his soul, I ain't never heard no white girl got the blues like this. A killer crowd sourced record in every step of it's execution, from packaging to production, this is what happens when the public has really spoken. Killer stuff.

HOT CLUB OF DETROIT/Junction: On the corner of what happens when Django meets pomo jazz, this Hot Club takes it all in a new direction for contemporary tastes with pleasing results. Almost bristling with punk rock energy, the core instruments are kept in tact but beyond, the legacy has been tossed to the spiritual great grandchildren---and they are respectful without being landlocked by tradition. A welcome uprising for those that want to hear the form's sound and style pushed forward with it's underlying integrity on tact. Well done.

JOE ALTERMAN/Give Me the Simple Life: Interesting subtext here. Young Alterman gets some killer jazzbo vets to back him up on a record just past his college thesis. Sideman Houston Person reminds him the audience wants to enjoy themselves. The vibe here on this set of oldies and classics sounds like a hip treatment of sitcom theme music. Purists and hard core jazzbo will tear their hair out. Anyone else looking for some familiar light and easy music played well will enjoy this is almost any situation where some nice jazz in the background (that isn't background music) is called for. This is a perfect example of how nice it sounds when everyone is in the pocket and no one has a need to change the world. It work's, it's swell and that's all it has to be. Listen here.

THE BLASTERS/Fun on Saturday Night: With most of the original line up in tact after 33 years, these first generation cow punks who started out on an indie are back on an indie after all this time with their cowpunk rechristened quintessential Americana but with all the original musical salmagundi/gumbo in tact. This is what happens when poppa loves his work. This is as fresh and bristling as it was back in the day. Still completely yummy as well. Check it out.

JOHNNY MASTRO & MAMA'S BOYS/Luke's Dream: I haven't seen letraset like this on an album cover since Crème Soda used it in the 70s. What else here is a throwback? This harmonica led, white boy blues band is the most exciting thing to hit the genre since Paul Butterfield started losing energy around the time of said Crème Soda record. Almost sounding like no blues you've ever heard before, this four piece crew makes a sweeter racket than a quartet should be able to. Roots blues rock for the 21st century that'll rocket you in to the next century with no wasted fuel but a lot of dripping sweat. You gotta hear this.

OLI BROWN/Here I Am: And when the public turns away from the current crop of boy bands and wants some bad ass blazing stuff, here's the fore bearer of the new generation of young, British, guitar slinging, white boy, blues rockers. With all the moves mastered and placed in the right places, when hormones start to rage and youthful rebellion is in the air, Brown is in the right place at the right time to be the go to guy for the soundtrack. Grown ups will stick to their Hendrix albums but the little boys will understand.

ANDRA KOUYATE & Seke Chi/Saro: In which we find the Mali native showing us his indigenous side as opposed to his international side. How do you like it from deep in griot land? It's pretty wild party music showing once again how music is the international language. Roots music from deep in another plot of earth, you can somehow see this being the record of the summer at better yuppie, deck parties where tropical drinks flow.

ARTURO O'FARRILL/The Noguchi Sessions: And sometimes you need those little reminders. O'Farrill has done loads of great, award wining work for Zoho, but here he steps out with just his fingers and his piano and delivers a breath taking solo ride that shows how important he is to the core of all the stuff he's had on parade. One of those solo piano records you'll play more than once, it's simply one of those tour de forces that's not to be missed.

Volume 35/Number 254
July 2, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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