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SCOTT RAMMINGER/Advice from a Father to a Son: You can hear the echoes of Randy Newman, Professor Longhair and loads of other off beat party animals that like funk, off beat lyrics and good times. An after hours adult pop record that has a certain charm because it sounds like it could have been made by one of us after a few drinks, Ramminger is a fearless entertainer that doesn't let worries about his ego get in the way of a good time. The part of the south where this comes from is a whole nother way of life.

CHRISTINA COURTIN/Varsity: Going indie after a spin around the track on Nonesuch, the Julliard trained violinist is probably never leaving the pop world following the footsteps of Kate Bush and St. Vincent. Every generation needs an art chick to call it's own.

MATT HERSKOWITZ/Upstairs: This is such a very personal jazz and classical solo piano record that anyone going into it expecting a Dave McKenna kind of thing won't be able to wrap their head around it. Very much a recital that you have to bite into to fully enjoy, Herskowitz with an all around player that knows his stuff inside out and is so intense, you might think this is for eggheads only. Not so, but you do have to have your grown up pants on to sit at this table. Proverbially, this is one of those cats that can do so much with so little. Must hear listening for when you're ready to go deep. Artistically winning throughout.

LULA LOUNGE/Essential Tracks V. 1-various: Just when you think we can't get any more one world/multi culti than we are, here comes an anthology from the Toronto Latin music scene celebrating 10 years of the scene. The label, started by the club that brought the scene together, brings the caliente as bands that had no place to play found just the right spot to congregate and make it happen. Fun stuff for gringos as well, this is a heaping helping of fun stuff that just begs to be in your car stereo on Friday afternoon. This bunch is committed to letting the good times roll and we support their mighty efforts in full. Winning stuff that'll open jaded ears in a flash.

MARIA GILLARD/Mending: She's been at this 25 years so she isn't old enough to call an old hippie chick but damn if she doesn't sound like she wasn't raised on Dan Hicks and Maria Muldaur source material. She takes that and filters it through contemporary modes like transformation and serves up a session of non-yukky sounding girl friend retreat music. She knows her stuff and knows how to deliver it, special delivery, with a conviction and sincerity that makes this singer/songwriter set go right from her heart to yours.

NANCY STEARNS/A Wish: The singing civil rights lawyer strays a little farther from her day job with a new show that finds her following a muse inspired by Dave Frishberg to good effect (or is that ‘affect' Mme. Attorney?). With a show bizzy show biz presentation, even if it's stripped down to the basics, we're much rather have her doing cabaret than ironing out a bunch of nasty briefs (get it?). Nice adult pop from one who's apparently not afraid of being a grown up.

JERRY LEAKE-CUBIST/Prominence: Multi level world beat pop from the drummer who's idea of world leans more to rock than jazz. While filled with instruments you would find on a Paul Winter recording, Leake and his pals get different sounds out of them making sounds you can actually picture a hipster bobbing his head to, lightly. The music doesn't take itself profoundly making this a fun romp through a pan cultural landscape that's another left of center winner for the percussionist. Fun stuff that delivers.

Volume 37/Number 73
January 13, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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