FATS DOMINO/Thrillin' in Philly Live 1973: Because of the success of Sha Na Na and promoters that believed there was gold in the old, 50s cats caught a second wind in the 70s and were rolled out one more time. Domino, never the slacker, came roaring back with all guns blazing showing the kids just how it is/was done. A high octane performance with a foot solidly in the 50s and a foot solidly in the now, this rock and roll original gave the fans their money's worth. Captured in bright digital remastering, this set smokes like you wouldn't believe. Make way for the Fat Man! This is the first release of the entire concert, and don't worry all the big hits are here as well.
COUSIN HARLEY/Dutch Sessions: There was a smoking little rockabilly revival underground in the 70s and this bunch plays like they haven't heard that happened 40 years ago. Rocking and bopping the night away, this is high octane fun music that keeps the joint jumping all night long with loads of thrills chills and spills. Killer stuff throughout that won't let you wipe the smile off your face or the tap off your toe.
MILK FACTORY PRODUCTIONS
3.5.7 ENSEMBLE/Amongst the Smokestacks and Steeples: A bunch of Chicago cats band together at Fred Anderson's to let you know just how Carla Bley sounded before she started making friendlier sounding music. Creative/progressive jazz that's informed by it's lack of limits, this is how arts council music sounds when there are no strings attached. And there's two discs of it.
BOB MARGOLIN/My Road: After 50 years on the road as one of the original white boys with the blues, Margolin gives us what Waylon called an ‘audiobiography' singing about the highs lows and in between racked up in a life well lived. Feeling much more like a stopping point than an end, it seems pretty clear that Margolin is going to have as much to say as the long living cats he's played with. You can tell he was enjoying himself then and he continues to enjoy himself now. Check it out, it's the real deal from one of the living legends that you might not even know you know.
JONN DEL TORO RICHARDSON/Tengo Blues: A new comer that really isn't, Richardson has been wailing on his blues guitar ever since Diunna Greenleaf pulled him away from his rock roots over a decade ago. Since that time, he's won this that and the other, but this is the first time he's giving it a go on his own. Talk about putting in your 10,000 hours! He might never have picked cotton but Richardson needs the blues like a fish needs water and plays it accordingly. With part of his brain in post war blues, the rest of his brain is firmly cocked toward tomorrow but not in an uncharted path kind of way. Bottom line, this guy is a killer that knows how to work a studio so he has more than the vibe that makes it so you have to see him live to fully appreciate him. Well done throughout!
SPEEDBUGGY USA/South of Bakersfield: The crew that knows how to deliver that solid dose of punkabilly is back with a vengeance after a health related layoff sidelined them for a time. With a set that's made for being amped on PBRs and something else in dives and old man bars, this is the real sound of cowpunk that will always survive in the great underbelly. Without a note of manquing around anywhere in the grooves, this is more than the delivery of the promise of Cosmic American Music than was ever imagined. Hot stuff.
VALERY PONOMAREV JAZZ BIG BAND/Our Father Who Art Blakey: Mentored by Art Blakey when he first arrived here from Russia in the 70s, it might have taken the trumpeter 40 years to get his first solo record together but fittingly, it's a tribute to Blakey. Transferring the combo charts to a swinging, hard bop band sounds like the most natural thing in the world here. A purely daddio set throughout, this is played with the kind of heart and soul that made those old time records so genuine and authentic. Since he was there and did that, Ponomarev isn't going through an exercise because he's out of ideas, this the kind of stuff you play when the ideas are bubbling up so hard you can't contain them all. Any big band fans that's cleaned the wax out of his hears will enjoy how this is the real deal. Hot stuff.
ANDREWS McMEEL UNIVERSAL
SCOTT ADAMS-Optimism Sounds Exhausting: For 25 years, Adams has been working on the central theme ‘there is no gravity, the Earth sucks", and within that framework, he hasn't repeated himself. Further, like a writer blossoming in obscurity (which Adams hasn't had to endure), he's at the top of his game here, and that's a pretty high top. Expanding beyond the idiocy in the workplace, in this recap of the 2014/15 strips he skewers idiocy in life as well slamming corporate double speak, magical thinking and everything else swirling around that makes you grind your teeth into dust. And 265 times a year, he does it in three squares with few words. Killer stuff that just keeps coming and coming, in-duh-viduals ought to keep his pen flowing in fine style for years to come. Check this out, your mental health is begging you for it.
PATRICK McDONNELL/Playtime: Funny how a lot has been made comparing "Mutts" to "Peanuts". In this 65th year of "Peanuts" a lot has been made of it's back pages. Did you know that before Charlie Brown was a loveable loser, he was often a douche? Snoopy a terrorizing mutt? Parent's groups kvetch about how they call each other blockheads? "Mutts don't walk that side of the street. It's a gentle way station where the worst character is nut throwing squirrel. And with that, we look back at the strips (schtrips?) that made us chuckle throughout 2014 once again, complete with the Sunday splash panels your local newspaper probably cuts out. Starting with a really great illustration of Earl on the front cover, it just keeps getting better from there. Always a fun look at the secret lives of animals, this is a fine cross generational strip that's just meant to be shared between parents and their kids. This is a book to stick your nose into.
PATRICK MCDONNELL/Mutts Winter Diaries: There are special little Mutts books with original stories for the young uns. This collection is for the young uns, but it's more like a specially programmed greatest hits collection with a slew of strips culled from the archives for the young uns. It's a nice intermediate step for getting them ready to dive into the treasury collections when they are big enough to handle them. All the characters are on board in these stories and story arcs and the kids will be sure to become hooked if they aren't already.
Volume 39/Number 32
December 2, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record
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