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4 JACKS/Deal With It: Picking out the roots music dream team is a mental masturbatory task best left to people with more time on their hands. The Jacks are unequivocally a roots music A team (Google them). Kicking it off sounding like classic Booker T & the MGs, the Jacks proceed to lay down the law careening madly through a raft of roots styles that all hang together in the end. Accomplished players at all ends of the entertainment spectrum, they keep in mind the need to make it a show---and they show up and show well. Hot stuff the hard core roots fan craves. Check it out.

DAVID PEEL/Anthology: Peel had a -career- before hooking up with John & Yankel so it's not really fair to call the reefer advocate the Lennon's personal Wild Man Fischer, but other than being more coherent than Fischer, it's easy to see parallels. This collection is pulled from Peel's own Orange Records catalog leaving his Apple and Elektra sides slumbering in the vaults, but these sides still contain plenty of the raucous garage rock pro-reefer sentiments that made him a hero to so many in the underground. Often too loud to be freak folk, the spirit is there and willing and freak folk fans can at the very least enjoy this as a guilty pleasure. Check it out for a high old time.

LAILA SALINS/Elevator into the Sky: Anne Sexton is the poet of choice for this art chick extravaganza where confessional poetry is set to music and expressively performed. Certainly not to be dismissive, projects like this are intensely personal. Because there are no right or wrong boundaries, either your preferences are the same as those in the wheelhouse or they aren't. If mid 20th century confessional poetry is your thing, the musical augmentation and vocal performance will drive it home for you. If not, then you'll feel like this is another well meaning art chick you'll suck up to while trying to cache her phone number. (Hint: either dig it for what it is or don't. If you do get a phone number, it'll probably be an old, disconnected voice mail number. This isn't her first rodeo either).

VO-DUO/Nou La: The Boukmann's Experianz album on Island, which was their only one made with a major label budget (relatively speaking) is still the gold standard in voodu music, but this Jewish kid from Holland living in Brooklyn and his Haitian pal bring their own pan cultural thing, along with some passion, to the fore making an indigenous sounding set of Haitian music that does all their ancestors proud. While not new age, this is some mighty healing music that does a great job of going beyond chill music when you really want to chill and want to stray from the beaten path. This is a wise and winning record that's totally good for your head as well.

CARRIE RODRIGUEZ/Give Me All You Got: The best argument in favor of 12 inch album size graphics is that you can't appreciate what a sexy picture of Rodriguez is on the cover here. You have to go to her Amazon page for this album and click the zoom button to enlarge the cover pic and really appreciate the sexy look on her face. I think wars were fought over that look. Goodness gracious, she's a mom and everything...but that look! The music? When the record label was pushing Lucinda Williams to make more of a pop record she turned in a couple of good not here/not there records that left her hard won cred a little strained. Now living in Brooklyn and having come up as a duo with Chip Taylor, Rodriguez didn't carry the Williams kind of baggage. Rodriguez's move to indie pop from alt.country is more seamless. A solid adult, Americana/pop entry, Rodriguez is now her own woman, adept at calling the right shots. Well done.

VINTAGE FRANCE/various: A sonic return to 50s France in sound and spirit, leave it to Putumayo to avoid the obvious and still find plenty of good stuff only strengthening their brand and cred. Not exactly what I would deem a chanson collection, there's loads of sprightly, charming stuff here that doesn't evoke the 50s so much as it does easy times and good vibes. It doesn't even feel like something that would be essential listening for a Frasier fan. Entering a different doorway, there's a hallway of fun stuff to drift through as the non-Frenchie looking for something new (even if it's 60 years old) that will certainly tickle the fancy. Delightful.. Check it out.

BARRY ALTSCHUL/The3dom Factor: For his first date as a leader in 25 years, the 70 year old drummer hot foots it down to Brooklyn for a dip in the Hot Club crew as well as the local lights. Keeping up with the unbridled youngsters, this is as close to free jazz as three white guys are going to get as Jon Irabagon delivers on the early 60s NYC sax skronk like he was there. For left leaning tastes.

BLACK MOTOR/Rubidium: Ethnic sounding down tempo stuff that encourages those who are into egghead jazz to dig deeper still into their art side. Everyone else will probably go -huh?-.

Volume 37/Number 93
February 2, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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