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CHRISTIAN COLLIN/Spirit of the Blues: With a load of musical DNA in his system, this Chicago blues roots rocker has the sprit of heartland rock going for him as much as he does the blues. An AOR recidivist, Collin reminds that the heartland sound will never die as there's always going to be a new generation of blue collar kids that want to rock out and need someone to show them how.

RICK VITO/Mojo on My Side: The uber guitarist that's literally the guitarist that's riffing through the soundtrack of the typical boomer's life steps out in one of his infrequent forays to the front and he makes the most of his center stage time. An utterly cool record by a cat that likes the blues as much as rock but doesn't bind himself to either on this romp, Vito gets back to his road house roots and keeps the party rocking all night long. This is real rock for anyone that grew up on radio in the 70s and still has FM radio pounding in their veins. Killer stuff.

BOBBY HUSTLE/It's the Hustle: First white boys take over the blues, now they're taking over reggae. Coming from Seattle, Hustle kicks things off with a tune about the joys of starting the day high. Not exactly the stuff of rejoicing in Marcus Garvey or Jah but you know he knows how to speak to the kids and he really does have a second generation, authentic sound. It's just more of a mash up world everyday and you can bet this stuff will be on the soundtrack of it all. Check it out.

LASER LLOYD/Insides Out: A veritable greatest hits set for those who aren't familiar with Lloyd and want to trip through his back pages with him, this Israeli blues award winner splits the set into electric and acoustic. Actually a lot more worldly and part of the pop machine than he let's on to, Lloyd recaps here why he's been knocking them dead all over the map for the better part of this century. He might look like just another rocking rabbi but don't sell him short. Hot stuff.

LASER LLOYD: He might be based in Israel but this set shows lot of ties to Chicago and why not? This cat's about the blues. Setting sail with a blues rock assault, Lloyd keeps it original and tight showing that he's more than a big fish in a small pond and he's more than ready to tackle the big time in a big way. Powered by the kind of chops that are sure to make him a staple on satellite blues and roots shows, this is the real deal, contemporary style.

MICHAEL KOCOUR/Wherever You Go, There You Are: The piano man goes fully front and center this time out putting his name out front and his piano in the spotlight. Influenced by greats like Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan and a sidekick to golden oldies like James Moody and Benny Golson, Professor Kocour is no manqué when it comes to kicking it out old school in high style. Tackling a set of mostly chestnuts that you have to work equally as hard on to screw up as to make shine in a new way, your ears are treated to him doing it the latter way taking tunes you know inside out and taking them someplace else quite unexpected. A piano man of the highest order, this set is a proper step from the shadows that does nothing but impress throughout. And through all that, who'd have thought he had time to read "Buckaroo Bonzai"?

MUDDY WATERS 100/various: Sit tight for the real deal as those that knew and loved him tip the cap to Waters on what would have been his 100th birthday. Top heavy with songs 60 years old that are essential parts of the musical DNA of the post war years and are still relevant, betcha you never knew what an influence Waters was on modern rock. Guess the picture of the Stones on stage with him kind of brings it home. Packaged in a nifty book format, this all original set of tribute kicks ass around the block, a few times. At last, you'll finally know what he's talking abut when he says he's a main. Newbies, old fans, gather around, the cats on board here are reaching out to everyone with these fine performances. A winner throughout for all the right reasons.

WORKAHOLICS season five: The slacker trio keep the party going through a fifth season of antics that are like a bunch of Jackasses that aren't whacking each other in the balls all the time. Screwing up funerals, keeping toasted, saying and doing most un-PC things that would get the average politician in hot water and keeping toasted as well as keeping toasted are what propels this laugh fest rolling and on target. Wicked satire posing as boneheaded laughs, this stuff can really be enjoyed on a lot of levels, all of them fun. Check it out.

Volume 38/Number 225
June 13, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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