ANTONIO LOUREIRO/So: Yes, they even have pomo, malcontent jazz hipsters in outposts like Belo Horizonte that want to do more than play sambas for tourists. A left leaning set with distinct Brazilian hallmarks to it, this feels like a well done example of sitting down jazz for people with schpilkeeze. Not exactly egghead stuff, it's well thought out sounds that are out of the ordinary geared to catch you unawares. Almost like a meeting of jazz and classical, but not quite, this is about as far from lite jazz as you can get before things roll off the rails.
HOLLAND K. SMITH/Cobalt: Looking like a friend of the devil and tossing off a Jesse Winchester vibe when Winchester isn't in folkie mode, this Texas, white blues man has the loping sound that posits him somewhere around singer/songwriter country but when you add in the country, blues, southern show band ..etc influences, he manages to stakeout his own turf and defends it nicely. Americana with edge and a winking smirk, Smith has done his wood shedding and has determined to serve no songs before their time. A winning set for listeners that like it just left of center enough to distinguish special sauce from catsup. Check it out.
HAYMAKER/Now Now Now: Remember all those country rock bands that wanted to be Firefall but wound up sounding yukky because there was no Rick Roberts or Jock Bartley to keep an eye on things? This bunch has Spencer Davis and Rita Coolidge's guitarist around to keep an eye on things and that's apparently enough to get these country rockers from traveling into Yukkyville. Sounding more organic than an LA country rock outfit, that touch of hominess gives this crew their edge and makes them feel like a good time band you want to call your own. If slick is something on your garage floor, this is something that will fill your ear nicely. Check it out.
HOWARD GLAZER/Stepchild of the Blues: He's from Detroit and he looks a Jewish kid with more than few miles on him. If he is, you know this cat didn't go to law school as a back up plan. With a totally in the pocket, contemporary guitar slinging blues thing that just doesn't quit leading the way, it's funny to call a cat with long gray hair a rising star but we never heard of him before and find it pretty astounding he can go toe to toe with any of the chooglers of several decades back when overly long ego boogie jams made the style irrelevant. However, when Glazer kills it, he's killing it in that good way. With sizzling stuff like this, you wonder why he's not opening for Bonnie Raitt. A winner.
PORT CITY PROPHETS/Mule: These white boys from the low country that call themselves a blues band are really just a bunch of good timers that like to have a good time and let you in on it. You can spot the various blues rock moves that have been sprinkled from St. Louis to the delta within their sound but rather than play Ginger vs. Maryann with their sound, it's best just to enjoy the sound of a classic bar band tearing the roof off the sucker. This is a nu version of the sound that gave millions of baby boomers college beer guts they are still trying to work off. Spin this when you want to get the party started and get the hipsters off the premises.
RAYA BRASS BAND
RAYA BRASS BAND/This Train is Now: Another wild dose of the Balkans meeting Brooklyn as a bunch of ace players go ethnic, keep it real and let the good times roll. With the kind of nutty sound that doesn't feel the need to color within the lines, these cats can make any place be the site of the party. Western enough and with enough pomo touches and winks that you don't have to have gypsy blood to enjoy this, it's a sound that let's you know hipsters have discovered slivovitz and you should just plan on being late for work the next morning once you get this rolling around in your head. Fun stuff throughout.
MONKEY JUNK/All Frequencies: Happy to report that the gang that copped a Juno for best blues record with their label debut aren't resting on their laurels. Sounding like CCR mixing it up with "Long Cool Woman" period Hollies with production by Tony Joe White recording in Muscle Shoals and mixing at Cowboy Arms, this doesn't even come across like a mash up with all those influences flying around the bytes. A solidly mainstream party band that brings out the frat boy in you no matter what your age, this is massively fun stuff to kick it out to when you just want to have a good time without any particular genre reliance. Betcha they bring home the goods again with this one.
Volume 37/Number 302
August 30 , 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record
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