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RALLIDAE/Paper Birds: Malcontent jazz with folk leanings is rolled out on this ep by a young trio looking to find walls they can break down in the name of progressive music. Sounding like the kind of buskers with something on the ball that you actually stop and give money to, this is pioneering effort in blazing nu trails that may or may not be along the right path. There's a whole lot of art chick going on here.

JEFF COLELLA-PUTTER SMITH/Lotus Blossom: Pure muso alert. Two long time west coast jazzbos that have been working a lot together for the got rocks in Bel Air decide it's time to take off the gloves and record together bringing their voluminous chops to the fore. So how do they do it? By making the quietest album ever since Sinatra teamed up with Jobim. Piano, bass and that's it. The interplay is that of pure pros bowling you over in under stated fashion. A seriously killer album for when you want to feel grown up and sophisticated, this is the kind of stuff that's right up there with the classics of the genre/form. Hot stuff throughout that's sure to put you in the mind of duets like Hank Jones and Charlie Haden.

OUMAR KONATE/Addoh: Just when you know it alls think that you have Professor Louie pegged as one of the few roots cats with something new in roots to say each time out, he throws a curve and moves his roots to Mali where he teams up with a cat who brings our youthful rebellions of the 60s to Mali and let their freak flags fly as they experience throwing off their yokes of oppression. Another of those sets that you don't have to know what the singer is singing about to feel the passion of his convictions, wake up calls continue to resound around the world. And sound is leading the charge in showing how much of smaller world it's becoming every day. Hot stuff.

DAVID VEST/Roadhouse Revelation: He might be living in Canada now, but Vest is a pure bred southerner that was misspending his 1957 youth in the same chitlin circuit joints along the gulf coast as the august blues belters we all revere these days. A rollicking whore house piano man that could fool you into thinking he's not an old white boy, Vest wants the good times to roll and he certainly does his part. With a sound that recalls big Cadillacs, gold teeth and pawnable rings, they ought to hire him to be the music director if they ever make "Animal House II". Killer stuff that makes you want to party no matter how much of a disaffected hipster you pretend to be. Check it out.

BONNIE DOBSON/Take Me for a Walk in the Morning Dew: Those slow and steady cats at Hornbeam aren't trying to overwhelm the marketplace with how many skews they can put out, but they continue on their noble mission to hit a home run each time up to the plate. Consider them three for three with this new release. Spurred on by Jarvis Crocker bringing this "Llewyn Davis" era folkie back from the corners of history and showing there's more to her that her classic environmental song that was covered by everybody, this grande dame folk-rocks along like a spring chicken that just eluded the grasp of the fox that got into the hen house. Send up a cheer for those who are making records that need to be made in the face of chicken little adversity and the performers that still have something to say. Folk rock fans can feel free to enjoy this to the max no matter how much of a problem hipsters have with it. Killer stuff that just won't quit.

MICHAEL-ANN/Heavy Load: With a look that suggests a Grace Slick/tough broad trying to go frilly, that's only the first surprise Michael-Ann has in her kit bag. With a sound that sounds like a bluegrass/crossover record, this possible tough broad certainly knows how to let her hair down and have a good time, back porch style. Continually engaging and energetic, this is way more polished and accomplished than you'd expect a DIY set from a ‘unknown' to be. An organic set with one foot in the country and one foot in the city, you just can't go wrong with this blasting in your headphones and blocking out the noise of the rest of the world. Well done.

LAB PARTNERS/Seven Seas: While others have come and gone in the same time line, this alt bunch has been at it since the late 90s in the same aggregation. Finding that spot where dream/pop, shoe gaze and noize rock come together, they sound like they are still college kids without a care about under water mortgages. Continuing to provide a voice for the voiceless and doing it in their own good time, this bunch could easily fool kid brothers into not knowing older brothers dug them quite a while back.

SWEET POTATOES/Faith, Good Neighbors and a Telephone: A total winner of back porch folk record by a SoCal trio who's easy vibe obliterates how they cut their teeth in Chicago dives, on the road with Van Halen and in the TV scoring jungle. Their original stuff earns a heap of unoriginal praise with just how much of a high water mark of a set this is. Completely tasty as it rolls from one song to the next, this is folkie dream set that gets it right throughout. Must hearing for fans that want a record they could wear out if it was a record instead of a cd. Hot stuff.

Volume 38/Number 220
June 7, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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