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FRANK BANG/Double Dare: This white boy took the long way around into becoming one of Buddy Guy's sidekicks and seeing the world from a front row seat. Life changes led him to taking some time of until he saw that his old records were selling for big bucks on Amazon Marketplace and people were telling him how much his music changed their lives. Like his Chicago forbearers, the Blues Brothers, he rounds up the old band and fired it up one more time. Industrial blues that murders the punch press in ways Muddy Waters never envisioned, this is state of the art white boy, industrial, guitar shredding blues. Check your fuse boxes before you fire this one up, just in case.

CARMEN SOUZA/Kachupeda: All aspects of nature abhor a vacuum. Shortly after Ceseria Evora dies, we are confronted with the third album by Carmen Souza. It has enough on the ball that we'd be remiss in not crowning her the new queen of Cape Verdian music. While Evora could find the beauty in pain, Souza looks for sunshine. Mixing her indigenous sounds with world jazz, hot club and a dab of coconut water, this record is sure to sound like summer all year long. In fact, the early part of summer before gets too hot and all is well with the world. Charmingly engaging throughout, this is one world beat date you should not miss. Hot stuff.

TOMMY MALONE/Natural Born Days: Over the last 30 years, Malone has been no stranger to a wide swath of left of center ears whether as front man, side man or writer. Malone is back with his first recording in 12 years. A personal set that's well to the right of outsider music, this reformed chart chaser knows it's too late in many games for that to be where it's at and surrounds himself with Nawlins hitters for a set that aging children everywhere will want to have handy as the journey continues. The kind of record that'll have long legs because it has so much heart, it proves you can feel just as bad about your mortgage being under water as Malone does about his home town being under water. This voice can certainly be a beacon in your wilderness.

PARIJAT/Prayer to Love: A reformed classical musician, this German moved to India to get in touch with nature and simplicity and subsequently moved lock stock and barrel to Norway to be inspired by the quiet of nature up there and the desire to let us know there's something going on in Norway beside death metal. Meditative music that avoids drone and repetition, he hasn't hidden all his classical skills away in a Rubbermaid storage bin under the basement stairs. A wonderful introduction set for anyone that's been on the fence about getting into mediation music, Parijat is quite the capable guide for beginning the journey to the center of your mind.

JIM WILSON/Incarnation-In Memoriam: Always working left of center with august personages in various parts of the music world, because he worked under the radar and under various names, he got the recognition from his peers but not always from the masses. A collaborator of Robbie Robertson, Joanne Shenandoah, Jai Uttal and Rita Coolidge among many others, this chronicler of First People was a pioneer of next wave world beat within our borders. This posthumous compilation/tribute encapsulates a lot of his first call works that will continue to blow minds long after he's gone and his work is discovered and rediscovered. A one of a kind talent that really knew his stuff.

ASHIK/Gypsy Soul: Man, the only bad thing we have to say about this cat is that he's putting out records too close together. Hot on the heels of digesting "Gypsy Heart" with some extra spins for after hours listening he comes with "Gypsy Soul". While this record is in the same church, it's in a different pew. Sure to strike some atavistic chords in your memory, this is the modern sound of the old country--even if it's an imaginary one for you--even if you didn‘t know there were gypsies in Ireland. Devoid of the corniness that holds a lot of ethnic music back from going the distance with listeners outside the realm, these instrumentals tell a story that don't need words. Another winner that hits hard and hits often.

LORD MOUSE & THE KALYPSO KATZ/Go Calypsonian: ‘Do your own thing' might be a relic thought from the 70s but now that we are in the age of the deconstruction of everything abetted by the Internet showing the way that a lot of what was once thought of as niche really isn't, we are faced with a glorious record by a bunch of white boys in Berlin that sounds like Mighty Sparrow before be abandoned calypso to chase the charts by going soca. Are hipsters embracing the 50s yet again because it was the last time America went completely nuts with the concurrent future being so bright you had to wear shades? (America is still gong nuts, but the future...meh.) Or is it that the Net has freed us from being told what to like by marketers with narrow marketing channels? This record speaks for the later. It's a total gasser. And to think they won't let these honkies into the Grand March! Get out the limbo stick and let the party begin. Why should they have all the fun in Germany? Anyone who can't get into this is too much of a grumpus for their own good. Well done.

PJ RASMUSSEN/Adventures in Flight: We certainly don't want to do anything to discourage this 23 year old tyro. He claims an affinity for 60s Bluenote. We actually hear more Holman than we do Pearson. We hear a lot of Wes Montgomery, fusion, smooth jazz and cocktail funk. And just to be clear, we like what we hear! Hey, Bluenote made a lot of records in the 60 and between us, Rasmussen and I may not have heard all of them, but we do hear this. We actually hear this as pomo smooth jazz. However you want to paint it, this kid is on the ball as a leader, layer and writer so why waste brain cells and time that can be used to enjoy this instead? Hot stuff throughout.

Volume 37/Number 191
May 11, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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