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UNK-THE RADHA THOMAS ENSEMBLE/I Only Have Eyes for You: In the 70s, there were loads of interesting nu folkie schmata queens like Victoria, Vandy and a ton of others that made these oddly compelling albums that grew rabid cults. India's pop star, Thomas, tosses that same hippie chick vibe on her new set that probably covers this ground quite unintentionally but quite well as well. Looking more like an art chick than a hippie chick, although they both probably believe in incense, smoke and that whole hippie trip thing, this is a wonderfully, oddly compelling set that'll draw you like a moth to a flame. Wild stuff for wild ears looking for a new rabid musical cult to hookup with.

MICHAELA RABITSCH & ROBERT PAWLIK QUARTET/Voyagers: In the four years since we last heard from Rabitsch, she hasn't been standing still. Now, with this band in it's 15th year, she continues to push the envelop adding several new dimension to her trumpet attack. Coloring things with a world beat vision from an Austrian perch, this is a high octane, left leaning adult music tour de force that'll keep you guessing as to what's coming next and will certainly keep your ears tuned in throughout the process. Dazzling stuff that the open eared and the musically adventurous should not miss.

LOUISIANA RED/When My Mama Was Living: When this stuff came out originally, I thought Red was already a million years old. He was only 40 or so. Well, not this stuff coming out originally, this is a collection unreleased masters and takes. Sounding as down home as you can get with a minimalist, barebones production, this is the kind of blues that you have to be mature to listen to or else you just won't get it. Field hollers and tormented souls fill out this session and it's really a mind blowing journey down some really lost highways. Dis is da blooz! If you want a contemporary visit from another time zone, this is as real and unadorned as it gets----and it gets to you as well. Check it out for a tour of the real deal.

MEMPHIS GOLD/Pickin' in High Cotton: The way a folk fan likes Michael Hurley, the blues fan will like Memphis Gold. Coloring so far outside the lines that he's off the page, Gold remembers the blues from before his time but feels them from down home fused with post industrial migration vibes and sounds. With a heart and soul that's at least spiritually still out in the field, you almost hope Gold never makes it inside the house because this stuff cuts to the bone like a stone cold killer. Hot stuff that you can't compare to anything, this is purely wake up call/outsider music that grabs hold and doesn't let go. A wonderful, wild ride.

JENNY LIN/Get Happy: The only knock on this set is that something about the recording ambience makes Lin sound like the piano player in the lobby at Nordstrom's. Take the trouble to listen closely--or play around with any tone controls your chosen listening device might offer you. Lin is one of those up and coming hotshots that can play in her sleep and make it compelling. This easy romp through warhorse Broadway/movie tunes is purely her own as she doesn't hold back the special sauce obliterating the need to make comparisons between her and anybody on the same material. A fine introduction to a fine player that knows the score (get it?)

PETRA'S RECESSION SEVEN/Live in Chicago: When last we heard Petra van Nuis she was doing a duo thing very nicely. Look what a little encouragement can do. She's now leading a 30s style whorehouse big band that has the right sound and the right songs to fit these times we're in. A great antidote to dive bar hipster sounds, this is a solid dose of happy, crazy depression era music where the main thing is to get you to forget your troubles. Since Art Tatum or Hank Jones weren't available to fill the piano chair, van Nuis wisely left it empty and has the rest of the crew picking up the slack. The kind of whore house music we haven't heard since the last time someone wrote Dave McKenna a sizeable check, this is a dazzling set that should not be missed. Kicking out the jams in fine style, this is a top shelf date that you can't help feeling happy when you hear it. Check it out.

ALLEN VIZZUTTI/Ritzville: Trumpet playing former associate of Woody Herman, Chick Corea and the Tonight Show Band, Vizzutti is an under recorded pro that feels the funk as well as he feels everything else and serves up a sweet date that even has Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea dropping by to lend a few licks. With the luxury to play whatever he wants since he's the one writing the checks at the end of the day, this is a cat that knows how not to abuse creative freedom in the chase for a singular vision. Heady stuff that's out to deliver a good time, he hits all the right notes as he hits it out of the park. Well done throughout.

SONS OF THE NEVER WRONG/King Fisher King: Hmm, a band with two chicks and a penguin on the cover? A bunch of songs about seeking in relationships? Is this Fleetwood Never Wrong? Nah, just one of the best folk bands of our time out pushing the envelope once again with some of the most literate, provocative lyrics around. Easily the band at their mind blowing best as they enter their 20th year together, this is contemporary folk that others could learn from. Killer stuff throughout you won't regret a minute of. Check it out.

Volume 35/Number 351
October 6, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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