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REAL VOCAL STRING QUARTET/Four Little Sisters: Bay area pomo babes go for it with girl scout uniforms hiding the sonic experimentation. A solid case of left of center girl power, this is a set hat gleefully colors outside the lines that pairs Duke Pearson with Regina Spector with their take on traditional music. Certainly not for you if you watch "X Factor", this head music is tailor made for those that like their pop music made for their summer home on Mars.

COREY LUECK & the Smoke Wagon Blues Band/It Ain't Easy: A nice, greasy, white blues date sent right down the middle. Funky harmonica, whiskey soaked vocals, call and response choruses and enough heat to warm up those Canuck nights where this crew plies their trade. This is sure to take you back to those frat house days in the way only kids that loved Otis Day & the Knights could do.

NO REFUND BAND: Long time musos get together for a debut set under this name and with this aggregation and create a sound that dooms them to being a hard working live attraction as they have the kind of sound that always seems to get unfortunately tamed in the recording studio. Whiskey soaked blues with show band tendencies that will actually score better with younger tastes as they won't be bringing moldy fig baggage to the party. Like they say, blues is their business and business is good. You'll get it if you dug any of those bands that Alligator knew what to do with back in the 80s.

IAN SIEGEL & THE MISSISSIPPI MUDBLOODS/Candy Store Kid: The Brit whose heart is in North Mississippi comes back to hang with those Dickinson kids again for another southern steeped blues set that has one foot in the past, one foot in the future and both ears to the ground. Gritty and heartfelt, you wouldn't know he's a transplant determined to hang with the big dogs. Zesty stuff that any contemporary blues fan will know this is the real deal. Amid all it's traditional trappings the future is percolating mightily below the surface making this a multi textured set that can't help but hit the mark. Well done.

JESSE FISCHER & Soul Cycle/Retro Future: This is a fun record as it's space age pop for the new generation. Having learned lessons well from Esquivel and "Mad Men" era lounge sounds, fusion and whimsy, this is what nostalgic kids will be looking back at if Goodwill is ever allowed to sell used mp3s and the kids of tomorrow have the ability to dig through whatever will be passing for bargain bins then. Meanwhile, it's a gasser with a little something for everyone that all goes down quite nicely. Check it out. If you have a good attitude, you'll enjoy it even more.

RUSS NOLAN/Tell Me: The Chicago lad is seasoning nicely in the New York jazz stew making his third release under his own name a full feeling, quite accomplished date. Always a solid sax man, this is jazz you would go out of your way for. With nothing but smart moves through out, the originals do a fine job of standing toe to toe against covers from august pens. A solid set that does a great job of tickling jaded ears and waking them up.

ANALOG PLAYERS SOCIETY/Hurricane Season in Brooklyn: A kid from Ohio with worldwide ears chased around the globe to catch the groove, and he succeeded. A most seamless genre blender of a date, it fuses funk from all over the world into a Brooklyn gumbo that keeps the party going all night long. Double the amount of access ramps on the autobahn, set the cruise control for 120 mph and strap in for a wild ride. That's what this feels like. The future of funk is in great hands. This set is a killer. Check it out.

TOM TEASLEY/All the World's A Stage: The exploratative world beat percussionist comes back with a new set of tapping in various things that all weave together into a great head trip of a tapestry. Taking the meticulousness of a sound designer and mixing with the ethos of an unreconstructed hippie, Teasley's flights of fancy go beyond the standard world/new age pale with a simplicity that obscures the underlying high wire act needed to make it all work. A well played hippie extravaganza for when some exotic flavored mellowing out is in order.

Volume 35/Number 329
September 14, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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