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TUCKER/#Country: This sounds an awful lot like what Hank Jr probably would have sounded like if he were just starting out fresh today. Rocked up country with traditional under pinnings, this is heartland rock from the heart of the heartland where Walmart hasn't paved over the corn fields for parking lots yet but there are still kids coming of age with hormones raging----country style. A solid set that delivers the kind of commercial punch that tricks you because it's loaded with heart, young country is getting a new poster boy here. Solid throughout.

JOEL ZOSS/Florida Blues: A former Chicago, white blues boy that really got started on this road when writing for Bonnie Raitt almost 45 years ago, Zoss gets back to his roots with a set that sounds like it might have been recorded at Chess studios in the waning days of anything happening in Chicago with crew of like minded mostly white blues boys that liked the edgy lifestyle but stayed away from bad habits. A tasty anomaly of a record, it's got the wisdom of a cat that's really been there and really done that and isn't trying to hide where he is now even if he likes a journey through the past. An authentic enough cat to have opened for B. B. King and Etta James on recent vintage tours before they went to their rewards, this is a welcome post card from an old friend for any boomer that spent too much time in the college campus coffee shop and remembers those times in sharper focus than the classes of the day. Check it out as authentic pros are getting harder to find.

CHRIS JONES & the Night Drivers/Run Away Tonight: Somewhere between trad bluegrass and newgrass is the pocket where Jones's music exists. A tasty treat by a vet crew that's no stranger to awards, now in it's 20th year, this is a crew you should get to know if you don't already. A note perfect set that hits all the right ones, you can't go wrong giving this a spin and letting it's good vibes flow. A well done set throughout.

MALPASS BROTHERS: Remember when crossover collapsed and the new traditionalists were on the rise? These two brothers ain't new anything. With Doyle Lawson in the producers chair and road time with Merle Haggard in their back pockets, these two are unrepentant honky tonkers cleaning it up to play to a Sunday afternoon crowd---after church. Finding the sweet spot that made classic and traditional country so appealing, they make the most of the sound and really give it a treatment it hasn't had in too long. So authentic that they even play instruments owned by Louvin Brothers, this is the real deal. Hot stuff.

AARON BURDETT/Tinderbox: If Burdett's sixth album is your introduction to him, prepare to be knocked out. A literate country/sort-of-rocker, Burdett's densely packed lyrics jam a lot of living in your ear all at once. It takes a hot second to digest all he's putting on your plate at once but it's like you get a new reward with each repeated listening. The kind of template Americana should follow more often, this original cat hits you with the kind of power you felt when first encountering a Nelson or a Kristofferson. Killer stuff that could go from indie to top of the charts in a heartbeat. Well done throughout.

TENNESSEE MAFIA JUG BAND/Lester's Loafin' Lounge: In the pocket of the classic Nashville after hours sessions and after hours bands, these jug band gangsters aren't Homer & Jethro wannabes although their level of musicianship could level those kind of accusations at them. Fun stuff in a good timing sense, they aren't so much a comedy act as a feel good act that can play great and knows their H&J as well. Down home without the corny elements that Yankees can find off putting, these guys are a real gasser that show up to entertain and do a great job of it. Be sure not to miss it.

Volume 38/Number 279
August 6, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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