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DENA DeROSE/We Won't Forget You: The mightily esteemable DeRose isn't just taking any tip toe through the oldies tulips here. She's tipping the cap to Shirley Horn in all her piano/vocal glory. With Wind and Wilson making up her trio and Pelt, Alexander and Smulyan dropping by to lend a hand, this is one of the sweetest, low key red hot dates you are going to come across. Making her bones long ago as a first class jazzbo that knows the righteous play to play ‘em and sing ‘em, this is another of her must have dates as everyone stands out and shines throughout. Dead solid perfect from start to finish.

JESSE BREWSTER/March of Tracks: If nothing else, here's a guy you can give credit to for keeping it real.. His family came over on the Mayflower and most of them suffer from congenital kidney disease. On top of that, he knows you have to do something to make your stuff stand out these days or it's going to be hopelessly ignored, long tail be damned. With all that on his plate, he's seen to it that his third album has the kind of big, bold rocked up Americana sound to cut through the dross bombarding today's college kid. Not locking himself into any particular Americana mode, he writes smart songs, delivers them with heart and will probably be the crème that rises to the top. Nu folk-rock that smartly cuts to the chase and makes itself known.

MIKE LeDONNE/I Love Music: When is a smoking organ trio not an organ trio? How about when it adds Eric Alexander on sax for a fourth color on the palette? The set card is a wide and wild mix of familiar tunes that you never heard done by an organ posse and certainly never done like this. High octane stuff you don't even have to be an organ fan to love, this is smoking nu daddio stuff that's a gasser for kids of all ages. Well done.

REVEREND SHAWN AMOS/Put Together: What do you do if your dad is Famous Amos, you used to work at Rhino and you find middle age is racing toward you with all deliberate speed? How about putting together a rootsy blues band that honors it's roots but has it's feet firmly in today's soil? Amos takes it seriously but he's having a good time and you will too.

JOE LOUIS WALKER/Best of the Stony Plain Years: Who doesn't like Joe Louis
Walker? Who wouldn't like a single disc that boils his three sets for the label down to the molten lava burning at their cores? A traditionalist that's a cornerstone of modern amped up, electric blues, the well decorated Walker always provides the best of both (all possible?) blues worlds and this is a pulse pounding ear opener if you still haven't discovered what's going on here. A massively killer collection.

LONG JOHN BALDRY/The Best of the Stony Plain Years: Baldry was one of that generation of English blues/rock journeymen that mentored just about all of the 70s rock to come out of ol' Blighty. A whiz bang collection of stuff recorded in his later years up to his death, this set pulls out the stops to give him his rightful place in rock history as he goes through his emeritus years with no dust on him. Loaded with the kind of grace you can display when you aren't laboring under the major label commercial dictates, Baldry is finally given his finest hour. Well done.

FLINTFACE/Hope: Gaga has her little monsters, Flinty is hoping to put together an army of rejects to carry him through to endorsements and mass media glory. A modern rocker whose heart isn't that far from classic rock bombast, you can actually hear moments of CSN in the mix. Flinty has what seems to be needed to connect with kids that aren't into EDM who are more interested in having voice than bouncing to beats. In which we find the circle spinning around once again.

TOO SLIM & THE TAILDRAGGERS/Anthology: 1986 was 28 years ago? When did that happen? Slim probably asked himself when putting this double disc collection together that looks back over his nearly three decades as an indefatigueable indie blues rocker that knows how to bring the heat. Including a couple of new tracks with modern blues ace Tom Hambridge right in the middle of things, this is the kind of stuff that used to keep the roadhouse rocking all night long. With no dust anywhere on it, Slim has found the sweet spot that yields timeless music that keeps it's vitality through the ages. Hot stuff once and for always.

Volume 38/Number 237
June 24, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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