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SECURITY PROJECT/Live 1: First class malcontent music from spokes on the King Crimson and other prog types axis. Not quite an audio journey through hell but enough to repel cheerleaders from approaching your dorm room if they hear this coming from the other side of the wall.

ROY NATHANSON/Nearness and You: The downtown sax mainstay took up residence at The Stone last year and invited all his creative pals that often subsume their instincts to make a living to come out and let their freek flags fly. And so they do. Some of the wildest duets you've heard in quite some time make themselves known here. Nathanson's hard core fans will enjoy this personal recording that almost feels like they funded it through Kickstarter especially for them. This is what creativity sounded like back in the 50s but don't mistake it for an artifact.

AJ CROIX/American Idols: A modern take on the classic folk singer looking to add some rock, Croix masters all the styles that fall under Americana these days and brings it home with Malcolm Burn at the wheel. Having grown up with the same soundtracks as the rest of his generation, that's the place he draws his modernization mash ups from. After you pare all the trappings away, he's s solid writer with an great ear for contemporary themes. Solid stuff that let's a lot of listeners bring it all back home. Well done.

DAVE INSLEY/Just the Way that I Am: We first encountered Insley just as the record business was falling apart and couldn't wrap our head around why this cat wasn't on a major label. Now it's several years later, each record keeps getting more impressive and this new one is a bad ass bar raiser. With a large all star crew in tow bringing their A game, this is a dead, solid perfect modern honky tonk record that'll keep the party going out in the parking lot well after last call. A solid dose of killer stuff, this set doesn't have to hide behind big curtains like roots or Americana, it's pure bred honky tonk imbued with the real stuff throughout. A winner.

IVOR S. K./Delta Pines: Hailing from the blues hot bed of the Australian delta, this 25 year old white boy with the blues manages to avoid the pitfalls of coming across as a one note joke delivering quite the accomplished date that only moldy figs could hate. With a whisky stained voice propelled by some authentic sounding solo guitar, he simply hit's the nail on the head rather than seemingly come on like some privileged suburbanite slumming. Genuinely fun stuff for acoustic blues fans that like it in the tradition but kind of know it doesn't have to be about picking cotton to be authentic anymore.

NOAH PREMINGER/Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground: And you thought early Leonard Cohen albums were great soundtracks to kill yourself by? Jazzbo sax man Preminger gets his quartet back together to play mournful versions of pre War Delta blues classics (with some ringers) about how miserable life is. The playing is fine but jeez, this isn't Russia where nobody believes in happy endings.

DANIEL MERON/Sky Begins: Kind of dreamy piano jazz trio work with vocals, Meron solidifies his reputation as a fluid player that's subversive rather than overwhelming. Tasty stuff by a cat who isn't afraid not to rush things, Meron is riding in the slow lane but enjoying the view and passing it on to you. Check it out.

JAMIE SAFT/Sunshine Seas: Multi instrumentalist Saft is an ambidextrous player that always scores well with us as he can play it straight or stop on a dime and go deep into the outsider music world without missing a beat or messing up. Here we find him and some like minded pals going the outsider route as he takes us to the tropics but for a ride through something sinister rather than some sun dappled yes mon music. Savvy enough of a date that listeners who are intrigued by the dark side but are leery abut making the jump can put this on and then wonder what took them so long. The obvious answer is they didn't have a tour guide that knew how to do it this right. C'mon, when was the last time you heard a record that made you feel like you've already swallowed the drugs when you haven't? Truly great stuff outsider music fans will champion.

WORLDSERVICE PROJECT/For King & Country: Time to give hipsters some love with this punk jazz outcry that often times sounds like prog rock gone strange. Firmly in the tradition of all the left field greats that tried to make music for the masses but didn't really have the desire, this is one of those sets that sounds like noise---but not really. A perfect example of crazy music for crazy times, this is a first class record for showing how much you hate your parents if you don't cotton to shoe gaze.

BEN CRAVEN/Last Chance to Hear: A deluxe package of sun baked prog psych from Australia where Craven makes all the racket himself except for some vocals from William Shatner. What's not to like? With all the grandiosity you'd want in tow, this cd DVD package provides a first class head trip into the oceans of the cosmos. Solid genre good times.

Volume 39/Number 170
April 19, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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