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SEAN CHAMBERS/The Rock House Sessions: Every time we've encountered this blues shredder in the past, we've been more impressed than we were with the time before that we last encountered him. That particular train keeps a rolling! With both England and Memphis in the house this time around, the cat that was tabbed to be the new leader of Blackfoot amps up the blues rock crunch like he was getting his new release ready for some 70s AOR radio saturation. All the right moves are in all the right places and boogie bears young and old can bond over this joyful noise that doesn't push the margins just because it doesn't acknowledge any bounds. Hot stuff throughout.

CHRISTOPHER TITUS/Voice in My Head: Titus has made a career out of being fairly autobiographic in his humor, whether on the network or on the stage doing his extended monologues and presentations. Here he takes it to the next level of the game finding his George Carlin/Lake Geneva moment where raw nerve is just where he begins. If honesty and authenticity are the new by words in the Facebook age for getting across to your audience, Titus has more of that than you can believe. At least for now, up to this moment, this is the most harrowing comedy fun house, roller coaster ride you can take. Talk about keeping it real, this is the stuff. I guess you have to appreciate schaudenfreud or something to find this as funny as it is, or maybe it's just Titus's skill, but wow, this is a comedy bomb in more ways than one and it's good to be there when it goes off. Killer stuff.

EMPATHIC/Another Life: Melodic metal that finds the sweet spot that combines the best of 80s hair bands and 70s AOR. These kids have had enough time to chew on these forms properly because it seems they have digested the best and dispelled the rest. Even if grandpa cut his teeth in stuff like Kansas, he'd be proud to listen to this at the malt shop with the youngsters. These guys deliver solid hard rock from deep in the pocket and have no agenda other than to entertain (and probably score chicks). A winner.

JULIAN BREAM/Complete RCA Album Collection: Although he didn't start recording until 1960, Bream always seemed so old school, you thought he was around for much longer. A throwback to when guys named Paley and Sarnoff owned major record companies and enjoyed prestige as much as they enjoyed money, Bream embodied the tuxedoed, classical guitar player who toiled for impresarios who believed classical music should be presented in a leisurely fashion in the waning part of Sunday afternoons. Leaving behind a legacy of 40 albums recorded over 31 years, all on display here, Bream, with his Sinatra like girth of a career, pretty much wrote a living history of modern, classical guitar. From Spanish explorations to English explorations to sublime duets with 70s protégé, (the other) John Williams, to live dates, to specially recorded materials, the shining constant was Bream's devotion to excellence in his art. Bottomed out with several DVDs, a flock of unreleased performances and a book just begging to be read by a fire on a winters night, if you ever thought about being a classical guitar fan, this 6 pound brick representing the output of a man's life is a stellar place to get started. Each new Bream release could always be counted on to be a treat and a treasure but to encounter them in a presentation like this is to make it feel like Christmas all throughout the year. This is one of those unchallengeably great, last word on the subject collections.

Volume 37/Number 338
October 5, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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