BLUE SKINNED GOD
AKSHARA/In Time: The kind of Indian/hippie mash up that 60s hippies wished they could have pulled off, this mash up is more than a travelogue for the armchair traveler, it a fun, wild ride anyone can enjoy. Almost picking up where John McLaughlin left off with his Indian travels, this set is engaging and solid throughout. You don't even have to be a fan of girl friend music to like it---this has it all on the ball. Well done.
LEAH KAUFMAN/On to Something Fine: After making a name for herself and loading up on folkie awards, Kaufman disappeared for a while and relocated from Seattle to Raleigh where she really makes back porch sounds with the locals who aspire to the back 40. A gentle rain of well wrought folksiness, Kaufman finds her métier in the country where the nearest coffee shop is miles away and the good vibes stretch out like the fields before you. Delightful singing and playing that can make people that make faces at the mention of folk music stop being so rude.
JAMES ARMSTRONG/Blues Been Good to Me: Blues with a load of unreconstructed southern soul at the core, the vet blues man knows how to put together a real pleaser that makes no statement other than letting the good times roll. Right in the pocket of his past releases, there's no need to change things up as the recipe is right on throughout. Electric blues as it should be, at least under one of it's stripes.
FREEWAY REVIVAL/Revolution Road: If this bunch didn't learn their lessons from old Marshall Tucker records, I don't know where they learned them. A fine roll up of southern rock and jam band ethos, this crew is the right sound track for blazing blunts and good vibes. Easy rolling party music right out of the Macon pocket, this is an all night crew that won't want you to go home.
WOODY SHAW LOUIS HAYES/The Tour Volume Two: Recorded at various stops in Europe during Shaw's comeback years, the tunes might be familiar but the jazzbos on board bring liberal amounts of special sauce making the tunes personal without making them weird. With loads of real solid blowing powering everything, this is a fine snapshot of jazz's renaissance in the late 70s when things had been thrown asunder pretty much. Blowing fans will feel like they were there. Well done.
TOM HARRELL/Moving Pictures: The redoubtable Harrell lines up a jazzbo line so that his horn can be front and center and he's let's the blowing commence. Structured like a classic jazz date with the soloist front and center calling the shots, he has the power and the glory to make it all happen in the most righteous way. Solid blowing form a first class pro that's seen it all, this all original set is what the real jazzbo ordered. Hot stuff.
ALASTAIR GREENE/Dream Train: 7 years of being Alan Parsons' guitarist hasn't watered down Greene's blues rock/jam band tendencies. This is a cat that likes to raise the roof and he's been doing it for years so you know he knows how to put on a show. Sure fingered guitar slinging that'll bring out the fist pumping frat boy in almost anyone, this set encourages you to fight for your right to party. Hot & heavy.
FAIRPORT CONVENTION/35th Anniversary Concert: Just because we just celebrated the crew's 50 anniversary doesn't mean we can't roll the clock back to repeat their 35th, along with a DVD and a full two discs of how the concert went down. Aging into one of the greatest roots bands as time went by, this utterly sweet set reprises their greatest glories and they mostly sound better than they did years before. Have a meet up on the ledge and enjoy this old visit from some old friends that have gotten better with age as they electrify their folk with less rock even as they up the amps. Solid throughout.
TROUBLE IN THE STREETS
TROUBLE IN THE STREETS/Electro Tribe: Calling attention to themselves with the kick off of their own genre, electro tribe, this crew takes malcontent music to the mainstream making it safe for the suburbs. With a salmagundi of vibes that can't be contained in one pot, this is sure to blow the high school mind looking to stand out from the pack. Wild stuff.
BILL BOOTH/Some Distant Shore: An ex-pat that's anchored himself in the Norwegian music scene, here we find him offering a folk rock retelling of the Irish migration to New England. A fine sonic tour of the auld sod and wanderlust, this is certainly a different side of Americana. This guy knows his stuff and how to present it well.
Volume 40/Number 325
September 22, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record
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