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HILARY SCOTT/Freight Train Love: What a trip, Scott covers "Lotta Love" with the original bass player from the Nicolette Larson recording. Other trips on there? Yep, they run rampant. An Americana/folk-rock chick that's basically been at it her whole life and has massed up about all the awards and recognition you can while still flying under the radar, Scott has an indie session that can easily compete with anything the majors are handling (or mishandling these days). A fully formed, full band sound, Scott has a sharp pen, a smoking voice and more soul than a white girl sounding like a white girl should have. Tasty stuff that works well.

NEW AMERICAN FARMERS/The Farmacology Sessions: What's the world coming to? Americana with a sense of humor, an assist from The Alarm and David Bowie's drummer? Chuck Prophet dropping by? Recidivists folk rockers that don't have to play by anybody's rules, this duo hadn't expected to turn a new set out so fast but the songs just kept escaping and one thing led to the next. Fun stuff that works well throughout, this is the nu sound of organic as played by some cats that remember a touch of how it used to be. Solid stuff with an offbeat edge.

MEGAN CHASKEY/Naam Radiance: When you're recording in the greater Woodstock area, are into yoga and kaballah and chanting, you are an art chick. Obviously, she is mindful of commercial considerations as this disc is populated with cats like David Darling, Aine Minogue, Scott Petito, Leslie Ritter, Beth Reineke and others who bring various, well seasoned professional chops to the fore. Released to co-incide with the start of football season, yes, this is a great set of girl friend music to give to your girl friend until you can afford some diamond earrings.

MARIA JACOBS/Here Comes Winter: Whether she's doing originals, show tunes or Joni Mitchell, this solid vocalist is an art chick throughout. With her long time guitarist leading the instrumental charge,, this is sure bet for those who like killer singers that want to move it outside the lines as they take the listener on a trip. Certainly a challenging record, deep is what this is all about, even when covering familiar waterfronts. Check it out.

MARCONI UNION/Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol. 2): The two cats in this band started working together so they could hear music they couldn't find anywhere. Where has that journey taken them? Their latest set is a new way to control all the stuff your body manufactures to help you kill yourself written in response to a commission from some British health muckity muck organization. How do we review something like this? Hailed as the most relaxing song ever, this may well be the ultimate in aural get aways for stressed adults on the verge of going postal. If you think you could use something like this, you already know who you are. Those of you, check it out and let us know if it's the real deal.

GRADY CHAMPION/Bootleg Whiskey: Champion is an entertainer, one that wants to keep it simple and bring the good times in fine style. A rollicking, Southern blues roadhouse showman, Champion let's the high octane Mississippi stuff shine through. The band kicks it with pure west side Chicago feeling and everyone keeps the juke joint jumping. This is even deeper than frat boy blues party music, this is the real deal stuff Otis Day was kicking out at the Dexter Lake club. High octane stuff for high times that just doesn't quit, its killer stuff throughout.

PAUL BOLLENBACK/Portraits in Space and Time: With a quarter of a century under his belt as a pro, this jazz guitarist has been hitting them to all fields so hard for so long he's probably one of the most in demand cats since the days of The Wrecking Crew. Going for the tour de force effect on his eighth solo set, here he leads a trio through what should be an intimate date but goes far field often. Constructed as a show, this set is a wild and wooly ear opener that might not live up to the George Russellish title in sound but certainly in spirit. Killer stuff for the hard core muso to delight in---and hes a jazzbo through and through.

LIQUID MIND/Relaxing Rain & Ocean Mixes: You don't often see Bernie Grundman in the credits for a new age record, but you don't often find one made by one of the cats behind "Max Headroom". Originally recorded as an antidote to the 20 hour days network TV can require, the series is now in it's 20th year and this set celebrates high spots from it's last decade by freshening up the mixes with nature sounds from various forms of water. It worked once before and it works again now. Refreshing stuff for tired ears as generated by a player that's certainly been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Newbies wondering how to fight off burn out ought to cock their ears in this direction.

Volume 38/Number 302
August 29, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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