HEAD WITH WINGS/Comfort in Illusion: We only have three tracks here to make judgments about but it seems like these young bloods have studied classic prog and have added their own touches to the original moves. They could easily take their rightful place in the underground.
CARAVAN/Who Do You Think We Are?: Streaming might be taking over the world but the great digital garage sale continues apace. One of the original prog rockers have their entire career and more plunked down in a 37 disc box limited to 2,500 copies. Never really getting their due here due to being on a bunch of sub par labels, old fans can revel in this ouveur without having to deal with the tyranny of You Tube commercials popping up repeatedly in mid song. If you were there, this will bring you back there.
LINDA CUSHMA Oxygene 8/Rhino: A gal not named Toyah picking up on the later day Crimson splinter vibe? It can be done. Solid left of center instrumental work that'll open your head, this is fun stuff that almost rides the contemporary classic edge.
MANGOES/Pale Blue Dot: Finding their cosmic inspiration in the works of Carl Sagan, you can bet this is alt for eggheads. They might find diversion in the various modes that interest them but the truth is the truth.
JOSHUA RADIN/Ghost & the Wall: A raspy throated folkie that likes to create mysterious vibes in a lo-fi way that takes you places you just don't expect, especially in the order they come your way. A solid bet for ears that like a taste of literature in their music, certainly a solid dose of thinking man's work.
PAXTON/SPANGLER SEPTET/Anthem for a New Nation: From Detroit to South Africa to you. Dollar Brand was an influential cat but I don't recall seeing a lot of tribute records to him. In fact, it often seemed like his records escaped rather than were released. The vet crew really delivers the goods here. The thing that makes this tribute stand out is me not remembering Brand being so funky. That'll open new ears! Certainly required listening for anyone that thinks they'll never get out of the house again.
MARK LIPSON/Realism: So much good jazz and great players have come from Detroit that it should be no surprise the tradition continues. Preserving it is another matter. This record is by Detroit jazzbos, for all jazzbos. A label and a musical collective formed for preserving the works of contemporary Detroit jazzbos, this set looks at the works of three recent composers and it looks good. Solid stuff that let's you know that town ain't done yet. Right in the pocket throughout.
ROGER CHAPMAN/Life in the Pond: Family was a band that deserved much better than United Artists could deliver for them. Now nearly 50 years after the band dissolved, Chappo is still soldiering on. The voice is gruff and wizened but the spirit is willing and so is the flesh. Still a right on rocker, the almost 80 year old is enjoying an off the clock kind of freedom to do as he god damned well pleases, and what pleases him clearly pleases us. Sometimes just letting the show go on is all it takes because this is what's been missing from rock for a long time.
SETH LEE JONES/Flathead: If you like your blues rockers raw, this cat that knocked off this record in 7 hours is right up your alley. Skilled enough to pull off this collection of covers in his sleep, he rawly rocks out and let's the good times roll---as the bottle is passed around. Rocking white boys with the blues will know exactly what's going on here in this set of well chosen covers.
JONATHON LONG/Parables of a Southern Man: A former blues rocking tyro that's all grown up, he paid his dues long and hard to get where he is now---making it all look and sound so effortless and natural. A real first class, first call blues rocker with a sharp pen, this is a love letter for everyone that wants more from what today's music has to offer. A real blues rocking guitarist, Long hits it out of the park every time up to the plate here.
(Wild Heart 1004)
HOBBS SISTERS/Turn it Up: Twin sisters that have gone from Pennsylvania barbershop quartets to the commercial side of Nashville show they've paid the proper amount of dues to be standing right where they are now. A bunch of radio ready anthems that pack the proper punch, this is clearly an act on the verge of a break through. Hot stuff.
BRANDON ISAAK/Modern Primitive: A Canadian cat that's grown up around blues, roots and old timey music holes up in a hotel room where many of the greats of the past stayed or played when it was used as a radio studio. Fashioning his own type of chasing Gus's ghost kind of set, you can count on him not to manqué around. Not exactly the kind of set that would have been right at home on Kicking Mule, if you dig modern old timers like Rory Block, this set is really going to speak to you--even when he's really doing all originals. Well done.
BARRY ALTSCHUL'S 3DOM FACTOR/Long Tall Sunshine: The three hell raisers were going to hang it up after three albums, but after a four year lay off and the tape rolling at a Iive date, well, here we go again. Improv that goes with the moment it's in, the freedom and wildness are all nicely preserved to keep celebrating a moment that will never come again. A wonderful wild ride from start to finish.
(Not Two 1012)
COLD STARES/Heavy Shoes: They're still pissed off and rocking hard in the heartland as this crunchy guitar duo shows and shows how it's done. To the left side of the blues rock ledger, there's plenty to be pissed off about being stuck in Indiana and they let it show. Hard rocking stuff for the kids looking for release.
Volume 45/Number 258
July 16, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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