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EMPIRE ROOTS BAND/Music from the Film Harlem Street Singer: You know this publication didn't get where it is by kissing Taylor Swift's ass and here's where we go deep in the pocket for you real musos on the prowl once again. If you're a folkie of a certain age, news of a tribute pic about Gary Davis will probably just make you roll your eyes and say ‘bout time'. The rootsy cats that make up this crew on the soundtrack have their vitae in order on all fronts giving this an authentic, yet contemporary sound, that really delivers the goods. An utterly sweet set that anyone who ever liked the original version of "Candy Man" will nod appreciatively to while others are just now discovering the magic. Killer stuff.

ATLAS MAIOR/Palindrome: A double album of a three piece improv world beat crew from Austin that gets the city to give them a day in their honor while their sound wins prizes in Turkish music competitions? The times they are a changing, spunky. A very pleasing set that knows how to go the distance even when wondering down uncharted trails, these cats play with so much commitment that you can't help but be riveted. Check it out.

SAUCE BOSS/100% Pure: The enigmatic, one band guitar slinging band is back in the tracks with another set that takes you farther into a mind that likes to be as free as the birds. This is wild stuff that attacks you from an unassuming point of attack and leaves you wondering what this folk blues cat hit you with---and how hard. While being nothing like the Fugs and the descendants of their lineage, he's got the vibe that would find him right at home at a Fugsfest. If you like it from left field, take the challenge.

JACLYN GUILLOU/Winter for Beginners: Whoa! Tyro makes good alert. Singing since she was 10, she grabbed some Canadialand awards right from her first public performances. Now with her first record for a ‘real' label (not her own pressing), Guillou puts the art chick pedal to the metal but not in a random way, more like an early Joni Mitchell way. You want a jazzy singer with a boho soul? Guillou knows the right moves and applies them in the right fashion. Groovy alt.chicksingerjazz that's sure to get you through the night. Well done.

DAN CHADBURN/Whispers the Falling Snow: A contemporary instrumental piano cat that's right in the pocket with the other hitters of the genre serves up his audio vision of winter, a season he loves. A winter/Christmas album that I want to revisit in a month with some eggnog and snow, this sounds like a perfect example of the dictum that if you do what you love the money will follow because you can tell he really loves winter and the stillness it brings, if you live in a Norman Rockwell painting (which isn't such a bad place to be these days). Well played by a cat in the know.

STEPHEN HUNLEY/The Other Side of Never: A young Knoxville cat that finds himself much closer to James Taylor than Jason Aldean in his output, starts his career by writing from the heart and hoping the ladies still have a soft spot in their hearts for sensitive types. Solid singer/songwriter stuff that has a knack for striking the right chord in being sensitive without being shoe gaze.

KEVIN KASTNING-MARK WINGFIELD/In Stories: Just when you were wondering what this guitar duo was going to do next to keep the accolades coming, thinking they might have thought themselves into a corner, they come blasting back to the front with a set that out ECMs ECM. Not your typical guitar album for a Sunday afternoon, but not jazz from hell either, the duo blows the roof off the sucker with some world beat moves that are also other worldly. The perfect place to start if you want to take a journey to the heart of the strings, this magnificent duo are the tour guides of choice. Real music for real musos.

DRIFTING IN SLIENCE/Desire: Strange but true, this sounds like it could have been an extended mix of Linda Thompson's folkie goes techno sides from the early 80s. Industrial/ambient stuff that gives off something of the sinister effect that goes with sci-fi movie soundtracks, this is a dandy head trip for those who like their head music delivered in headphone symphony packages.

ROBERT MOORE/Outta My Soul: Here's a totally groovy genre splicer that kicks it off with a Dixieland riff and smashes it into some jump blues, southern show band music and goodies form all jazzy points south of the Mason-Dixie line. With an authenticity that comes from being 60 years old and being steeped in this stuff as opposed to being a retro cat on the prowl, this well played, well paced outing smokes along mightily from track to track whether bringing his gale force to originals, chestnuts or alt.pop. This is the set you want to check out when a good time by some hard charging cats is a requirement. Hot stuff.

MAGNUS BERG/Cut Me Loose: What is this? A Frank Capra or Preston Sturges movie? A Norwegian teen loves electric blues so much that he not only gets the blues, he winds up sitting in at Buddy Guy's and sitting in with headliners when they pass through the town he goes to on the annual family vacation to Florida. There he meets Kirsten Thien who goes on to encourage and mentor him. And now, here's the record of it all where his merry band amps it up west side Chicago style and almost make it sound like they wasted a bunch of their youth sneaking into Theresa's. Talk about a white boy with the blues---I can almost smell the documentary coming around the corner. Let's all choogle the night away with this guitar slinging wildman.

Volume 37/Number 8
November 8, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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