Sentenced at Last

Sentenced at Last

**************************************************************
Outsight brings to light non-mainstream music, film, books, art, ideas and opinions.

Published, somewhere, monthly since July 1991. Feel free to re-print this article.

Please, keep Outsight informed: 248-623-1601 or
Email Outsight at outsight@usa.net

Ratings are (1) = :(, (5) = 🙂

Outsight Radio Hours Internet radio Webcasts with live interviews:
Sundays 6pm-8pm EST http://www.new-sounds.net


MIA’S MURDERER CONVICTED, SENTENCED

Jesus Mezquia, a 49-year-old Cuban-born man living in Florida, pleaded not guilty
to the charges of first-degree murder for the 1993 death of Mia Zapata, lead
singer of Seattle-based post-punk outfit The Gits. On Thursday, March 25, 2004,
after a three-day deliberation, the jury delivered the guilty verdict before
King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong. The trial began March 8,
2004. DNA evidence linked Mezquia to the murder of Zapata, who was strangled
to death with the cord of her sweatshirt on July 7, 1993. Her body was found
around 3:20am in the streets of Seattle’s Central Area.

The sentencing took place Friday, April 30. The standard sentencing range for
1st degree murder in Washington can be as few as fifteen years. However, the
court was filled with the presence and personal testimony to the exceptional
person Mia was and the horrific crime that was committed against her. Kerri
O’Kane and Jessy Bender prepared a 10-minute film about Mia’s life, art and
music. The defense tried to have all the personal statements and the film excluded
from the proceedings, to no avail.

Judge Armstrong stated that it was clear that Mia was an exceptional person
and that the crime was exceptionally vicious. She was surprised that 11 years
after Mia’s death so many people showed up in support of the prosecution. She
said that it seemed that Mia was still alive. She sentenced Mezquia to 440 months
in prison, over 36 years. He will be 86 or dead when he leaves Walla Walla.
Check http://www.thegits.com for more details


MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT’S NEW CELEBRITY EFFORT

Comedian Bill Maher, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (I), former U.S.
Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, M.D., former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
(R), and singer/actor Michelle Phillips are helping the Marijuana Policy Project
(MPP) launch an effort to enlist celebrities and other public figures in the battle
for sensible marijuana laws. MPP, America’s largest marijuana policy reform organization,
has hired a new director of VIP relations, Francis DellaVecchia, to oversee the
effort. Phillips, an accomplished actor who first became famous as a member of
The Mamas and the Papas, has helped launch the effort with a letter to her colleagues
in the entertainment industry. Last year MPP led the successful lobbying effort
for Maryland’s medical marijuana law, the first such measure signed into law by
a Republican governor. Protection of medical marijuana patients will remain a
top priority this year as the organization lobbies for legislation to end the
Drug Enforcement Administration’s raids on patients and caregivers obeying the
provisions of California’s Proposition 215 and other state medical marijuana laws.
For more information, see http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.


MORE PIXIES FALL 2004 CONCERTS

The Pixies announced an additional batch of shows for the band’s Fall 2004 headline
tour. Dates in Phoenix, Denver, Tampa, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Montreal and
Philadelphia are confirmed, with second shows added in St. Paul and Toronto. Twelve
Pixies’ “warm up” reunion concerts, all of which sold out within minutes, resulted
in ecstatic audiences, glowing reviews, and a fervent agreement that the band
and shows lived up to their legendary status. Prior to kicking off its Fall 2004
tour, the Pixies will do a six-week trek of the UK and Europe which will include
four sold-out nights (19,000 tickets) at Brixton Academy in London, plus dates
in Iceland, Spain, Holland, the UK, France, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Greece,
Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Norway. The band will also play the Fuji Rock
Festival in Japan on July 30, and then the two “T in the Park” festivals in London
and Scotland on August 21 and 22, respectively.


THE HENTCHMEN SIGNS TO TIMES BEACH RECORDS

As of April 23, 2004, the Hentchmen joins the Times Beach Records family. The
band has already been in the studio working on its new LP, set to come out this
September. Times Beach is a young independent record label based in the Hentchmen’s
hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Rustbelt owner and Times Beach president Dave Allison
says, “The record is just about complete and I believe it is their best work so
far.” On the subject of the Hentchmen joining the label, he adds, “With the amount
of touring and ground work they have done already, the Hentchmen are going to
be a great asset to the label.” The band members are just as enthusiastic about
joining the label. Organist John Szymanski says they like Times Beach because
it is a “young, exciting label [that] can’t be pigeon-holed,” and they “welcome
the change” of having an in-house promotions team. A video has been shot for The
Hentchmen’s first single, “Love,” off the new album, which is tentatively being
called Form Follows Function. The band will most likely be heading out
on the road to support the fall release.


WEB RELEASE FOR FRUSCIANTE SOLO ALBUM

John Frusciante, acclaimed guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a highly
regarded vocalist and songwriter in his own right, is offering both acoustic and
demo versions of key tracks from his latest Warner Bros. Records solo album, Shadows
Collide With People
. The songs will be made available exclusively as full-length
audio streams on his Website, www.johnfrusciante.com. “I’m releasing these
versions because there was so much production on the record,” remarked Frusciante
of his fourth solo album. “I thought it would be nice for some of the fans who
prefer a more raw, stripped down sound. For the same reason I wanted to include
the original demos. Some people actually prefer hearing things this way and I
really pushed my little 8-track cassette to the limit. I figured I’d do a performance
in my living room and put it on the Internet so people could hear me doing these
songs as if it were a live acoustic show.” Acoustic and demo material from Shadows
Collide With People
is available for download at http://www.johnfrusciante.com.


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ALMOST OF AGE

Dionysus Records (www.dionysusrecords.com) celebrates 20 years of releasing
sounds from 40 years ago. It was an “Immense hatred for contemporary popular music
of the early ’80s” that caused Dionysus to power up the wayback machine. The Dionysus
umbrella covers “garage, surf, punk, rockabilly, lounge, exotica, insanity, even
a little jazz and probably some more things I can’t remember or describe” that
comes out on the Dionysus, Bacchus Archives, Hell Yeah, and Orange Sky imprints
as well as records distributed from other labels… New off the line from the Dionysus
factory is a self-titled record from The Willowz. This new Anaheim, CA band is
an example of new blood promoted by Dionysus that draws on the twin veins of garage
rock and punk… Bacchus Archives digs for gold in punk rock of the ’70s and earliest
’80s. It hit pay dirt recently with excavations that uncovered Twisted Roots.
This collection of material is from a short-lived band whose members connected
the dramatic punk theater of The Screamers and Germs with the future membership
in a new generation of punk rock (Black Flag, Nirvana)… More new blood on Dionysus
comes from The Bolides (www.thebolides.com). This group, like Man … Or
Astroman?, is a rare example of successfully fusing that old garage sound and
a lo-fi sci-fi vision. The new album from The Bolides is Science Under Pressure
Orange Sky Records is Dionysus’ entry into the power pop and pop punk arena. New
on Orange Sky is L.A.’s Peachfuzz with a cheery, Buzzcocks-like About a Bird.
Quite often, Peachfuzz turns down the guitars and ups the melody for a heavy duty
take on Fountains of Wayne… While Dionysus does get a lot of great material
from West Coast source, it does not have a geographical prejudice. One fine example
of this is the recent Bacchus Archives release N.A.F.I.T.C., a compendium
from early Boston punk band The Thrills. The band only managed a single during
its career, and that is on this CD along with demos and live cuts to fill out
to 15 tracks. Note the late ’70s band features Johnny Angel on guitar and Merle
Allin on bass…


Listen to or Buy The Willowz at Amazon.com

Listen
to or Buy Twisted Roots at Amazon.com

Listen
to or Buy The Bolides at Amazon.com

Listen
to or Buy Peachfuzz at Amazon.com

Listen
to or Buy The Thrills at Amazon.com


DVD ROUNDUP

Goldfinger’s Live at the House of Blues DVD (Kung Fu) is a fun concert
from this band that has the right approach to a post-punk and post-ska sound.
However, the Twinkie-in-the-ass routine is more than I can stomach… (The following
releases are distributed by Music Video Distributors.) For premium skit-and-dance
TV entertainment of a previous generation, take in The Frank Sinatra Sound:
Welcome Home Elvis
(Quantum Leap). This 1960 variety show includes Sammy
Davis, Jr. and a twenty-year-old Nancy Sinatra along with repartee and a Sinatra-Presley
duet on a medley of “Love Me Tender” and “Witchcraft”… Long a classic traded
on blurry VHS tapes; The Cramps’ Live at Napa State Mental Hospital is
now on DVD from Target Video. It is just what is says. A very young band plays
for the inmates in June 1978. Songs include “The Way I Walk” and “Human Fly”.
Also very cool is extensive bonus footage from Survival Research Laboratories,
Z’EV, the famous Crime prison show, and Flipper… Ben Sidran not only has a great
label (Go Jazz), but he is a talented musician and brought together his talented
colleagues as the Go Jazz All Stars for an In Concert DVD release on
In-Akustik. The ten-song set features two from human sound machine GeGé Telesforo
and great, soulful vocals from organist Charlie Wood…For a set of videos that
never wanted to be on MTV anyway, check out the collection of collections Dopes,
Guns and Fucking Up Your Video Deck Volumes 1-3
(Amphetamine Reptile/Atavistic).
This DVD is replete with the contents of the three VHS releases that include
videos from Helmet, God Bullies, Helios Creed, Melvins and more. A bonus DVD
of post-1994 material offers up videos from Unsane, Servotron, Today is the
Day and eight other groups… However, an even better set of non-mainstream vides
is collected on 12 O’Clock High, Volumes 1 & 2 (Atavistic
Video
). This includes Jon Spencer in Pussy Galore (“Dick Johnson”) and a
very gory video from Soul Asylum (“Artificial Heart”). Some of the music is
very experimental, such as inscrutable vids from Carbon and Selektion Optik
as well as the trance-inducing “King’s Ogg” from Lee Ranaldo. Highlights from
the Volume 2 portion include Babes in Toyland (“He’s my Thing”), the
mysterious and strangely detached “Babylon” from David Atherton and Bongwater’s
“Jimmy/Lesbians of Russia”.

More
on the Goldfinger DVD from Amazon.com

More
on the Sinatra DVD from Amazon.com
More on the Napa State DVD from Amazon.com

More on the Go Jazz All Stars DVD from Amazon.com

More on the Dopes, Guns DVD from Amazon.com

More on the 12 O’ClockDVD from Amazon.com


CD REVIEWS ***************************************

Taxi Chain
Smarten Up
NorthernBlues Music

This bagpipe jazz pop band could work easily as hip novelty music and expressive/unusual
instrumental jams. Consider “Barbie Doll” and “American Style” off the band’s
earlier Bagpipe Juke Joint (Blue Chains Music, 1995). However this is
the group founded by the rebel with the Highland bagpipes, Grier Coppins (Rare
Air). Coppins pushed his group, and a group of some very talented individuals
this is. This newest release from the band shows them to be a sophisticated,
mature blues unit that puts quality above shtick. The opening track “Memphis”
is a rich homage to that fabled city delicately sung by Coppins with the bagpipes
aside. That instrument comes out, along with bright tin whistle, for the fun
and upbeat medley that is the Celtic instrumental title track. “Cut me a Key”
is another catchy, Memphis blues number (this time with a taste of country)
that helps constitute the bevy of good songs that balance the instrumental jams
on this exquisite, cross-genre album. (4)


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Ahvak
Ahvak
Cuneiform Records

The dark, mysterious progressive rock of Ahvak is one of the most sophisticated
and fascinating rock sounds to reach Western ears from Israel. Apparently the
progressive music scene in Israel is rich; so let’s hear more of it! This instrumental
debut album from a group with extensive recording credits and some conservatory
training is a rich trove of intricate arrangements touching on territory of Godspeed
You Black Emperor!, Univers Zero and late period King Crimson. As King Crimson
became defined by its unique guitar voice in Robert Fripp, so Ahvak has a singular
guitarist in self-taught Yehuda Kotton with his unexpected tunings and tonal surprises.
It should also be noted that high-profile prog drummer Dave Kerman (5uu’s, U-Totem,
Present) is in the group, having been lured to Israel by the impressive studio
work being done there by forward-thinking rock groups. (4.5)


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Stealers Wheel
Stealers Wheel
Lemon Recordings

As a faceless, unenthused DJ in the film Reservoir Dogs, comedian Steven
Wright exactly defined the monster hit of this record, “Stuck in the Middle” as
“Dylanesque”. The Glasgow group also co-opted the Merseybeat sound made famous
by The Beatles in “Late Again” and electric folk pop in “Another Meaning” while
“I Get By” could be from the Guess Who/Bachman-Turner Overdrive songbook. The
Scottish group may be musical chameleons but that all serves to make this classic
album a distillation of rock sounds of the early ’60s and early ’70s that is still
pop rock par excellence today. (4)


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Frank Pahl
The Back of Beyond
Novel Cell Poem

The “autozither” on “Watergirl”, the plucking of the tenor guitar on “Tenor” and
the combination of the two and more on “Scavenger Dessert” give much of this music
from the experimentalist an Oriental quality. This is the first Japanese release
I have seen from Pahl, so maybe it is his way of saying thanks. “Autozither?”
What has Frank gone and made, now? Even Frank’s “Ode to a $2, 3-Stringed Uke”
played on just that instrument seems koto-like on this instrumental album from
the Land of the Rising Sun. What vocal accompaniment is present comes from Frank’s
melodic whistling, as on “Prologue” and along with trained performing doorbells
on “Double Doorbell Quartet”. This album is a delicate and varied collection of
sounds. Like a treasured music box, its deliberate and mechanical sounds are a
cupped hand full of music to pick up and draw to your ear. (4.5)

(You can hear an interview with Frank about his automaton music at http://tinyurl.com/2uwzb.)


Kris Kristofferson
Third World Warrior & Repossessed
Oh Boy Records

On the classic Third World Warrior Kris Kristofferson takes the classic
idea of the protest song and makes it eminently successful with memorable melodies
like the anthemic “Don’t Let the Bastards (Get You Down)” and the white reggae
“Love of Money”. (Think UB40 at their best marching for the poor.) Another standout
is “Third World War” whose expansive, echoed vocals could be off The Wall
if Roger Waters had eclipsed his World War II hang up with rabid liberalism. This
album, originally released in 1990, was the pinnacle of the left wing political
crusade Kristofferson salvaged from his flagging singer-songwriter career. With
this, it is very clear what Peter, Paul & Mary says in “I Dig Rock And Roll Music”,
“The message may not move me or mean a great deal to me/But hey! It feels so groovy
to say”. Repossessed, packaged together here for a 2-CD set, is more uneven
and more country feeling, however it contains the excellent songs “Mean Old Man”
and “They Killed Him”. The overriding impetus of fearing another Vietnam in the
then current El Salvador situation will make much of this album resonate with
the United States’ current spate of foreign involvement. (4)


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Floydhead
The Floydian Propulsion Project
Massive Music

The Floydhead DJ, musician and graphic artist collective pays homage to the Pink
Floyd catalogue using all the group’s studio albums as source material. The extreme
reworking of this material often leaves little similarity to the original on such
tracks as “Heartbeat, Pigmeat (“UFO Technicolour Dream) Mix while “Hey You (Girls
of the Rare Breed) Mix” retains a distinctly Floyd flavour. This is the
third edition by Seth (no last name), an admitted “obsessed Pink Floyd fan”, that
learned his production craft simply to make this Floyd remix album. (3)


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Alice Donut
Three Sisters
Howler Records

The reunited, original lineup offers this strong album on the road back to recovery.
Tracks like “Kiss Me” and “Helsinki” offer the fat bottom, funky punk, and loose
arrangement of early Alive Donut material, while much of the album is a compressed
version of the band’s sound that somehow recalls Jane’s Addiction, as on “She
Tells me Things”. The album of all-new material also strikes one as offering somewhat
more over social commentary than before, as on “Cost” and “Setting Sun”. Generally
dismissive of malls and 401Ks, Alice Donut still has its outlaw charm. (3.5)


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Various Artists
High Volume: The Stoner
Rock Collection

High Times Records

High Times puts its money where its mouth is by creating a label and issuing
a collection of music from artists that share its idea of “marijuana as an inspirational
tool for artists.” Often collections like this promote new artists in a genre,
but this album features stoner rock stalwarts such as Bad Wizard, Orange Goblin
and even Corrosion of Conformity. (3.5)


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Maggi, Pierce And E.J.
Maggi, Pierce And E.J.
Maggi, Pierce And E.J.

This post-folk duo has a warm, upbeat sound with an occasional dash of funk. The
trio varies its vocal arrangement among the tracks, which keeps things fresh and
interesting. (Maggi is far and away offers the superlative vocal presence.) This
is an excellent CD for a game of Hacky Sack out in the sun with your friends.
There is also a nod to the hot jazz revival sound here as on Scott Young’s “Jaded”,
which recalls early Squirrel Nut Zippers, and then the band swings into solid
AAA songwriting with the doo-wop pop of hip-hop flavored “Mr. Moon”. This is the
fifth album from the group, which eschews naming them explicitly, but does use
distinct colors. So, this is the “gold album”. (3.5)


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The Features
The Beginning
The Features

This debut EP from Sparta, Tennessee band The Features has hard indie rock bookends
in the title track and the album closer “The Way It’s Meant to Be”. The inspiration
on these could be some Pere Ubu, but the two tracks are hard indie rock of a largely
predictable flavor rarely interesting now that so much of it has been produced.
The four central tracks are refreshing throwbacks to early ’60s pop. The Kinks-influenced
“Bumble Bee” and the other bright, retro-pop gems are fun, smile-inducing examples
of the legacy of the Elephant 6 collective sound. (3.5)


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André Ethier
André Ethier With Christopher Sandes Featuring Pickles and Price
Sonic Unyon

This is the debut solo recording from André Ethier of The Deadly Snakes. In it
piano, acoustic guitar, stand-up bass and brushed drums incarnate excellent indie
folk pop that recalls early Bob Dylan. The Canadian artist sought for and obtained
a loose, natural and live sound on this album of story-songs that include such
memorable pieces as the gallows ode “The Hanging Man” and analysis of family dysfunction
“Requiem for Man and Family”. (4)


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The Whiles
Colors of the Year
Anyway Records

The indie pop from this Columbus, Ohio group formerly known as Mrs. Children is
a little bit country, a little bit folk, and a little bit pop. Production is excellent
and the album is musically sound, however the music forgoes strong choruses, obvious
hooks and any drama in the arrangements. This makes for pleasant background music
that is apt to fade from memory soon after each track is over. (2.5)


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Furious Billy
Sissyfoot
Mungler Winslowe Records

Furious Billy, a.k.a. Casey Brandt, has a lot of fury to work out. This leads
to really impenetrable, cacophonous tracks like “All you Sons of Bitches”. Getting
past that, there is a lot of variety in this album and some good lo-fi indie
pop can be found in tracks like “The Fear.” There is also a great, cutting wit
in “Grow a Pair” and there is an oddball novelty to “Fishy” that leads us to
believe Furious may be not all that dangerous. Drawing as it does from the simple
charms of folk and the most ugly punk can get, Sissyfoot is all over
the spectrum. Blend together Melvins and your local coffeehouse troubadours
for a rough idea. Two more highlights occur to close the album. “At your Door”
is a melancholy song that is largely acoustic. The final track, “I Swallowed
a Cat”, is a fun, jangle-pop tune with lyrics that could have been written by
Shel Silverstein. (3)


Herschell Gordon Lewis & The Amazing Pink Holes
Herschell Gordon Lewis
Smog Veil Records

This two-song CD EP includes video clips. The two tracks are the themes from
Lewis’ films 2000 Maniacs and Moonshine Mountain. “The Godfather
of Gore” himself does a fine job on vocals as Cleveland’s Amazing Pink Holes
back on vocals. You can see H.G. performing with the band on the QuickTime video
portion of this enhanced CD. This is not just footage of Herschell and the Holes
in the studio. This is a return to recording for The Amazing Pink Holes for
the first time in over 15 years. (4)


For Stars
…It Falls Apart
Future Farmer Recordings

This is a pleasant, sweet and low CD of atmospheric indie pop with vocals so
in restraint as to be nearly whispered. It is a dark and mysterious journey
wrought with emotion etched out in the stark lines of sparse arrangements. Somewhere,
out there in a land of lonely nights this album is right now burning itself
into the soul of someone tortured and alone. (3)


Bohren And Der Club Of Gore
Black Earth
Ipecac

After creating hardcore in 7 Inch Boots, musicians Morten Gass, Thorsten Benning
and Robin Rodenberg turned into an ethereal saxophone quartet creating instrumental
jazz of the dark-and-doom variety. This album is the ultra-frigid zero degrees
Kelvin of the instro sound. The pulse of this album is the slow heartbeat of the
last moments of a lonely murder victim. The motion is the frozen legs fear of
a paralyzing nightmare. Take Melvins, strip away the volume and infuse with a
classic, cool jazz vibe and Quaaludes and you have Bohren And Der Club Of Gore.
(4)


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The Glasspack
Bridgeburner
Small Stone

Like the new sounds of Orange Goblin, this album would be easily classified as
hard rock if there were no stoner rock genre. However, there is just enough cosmic
sludge to make it rock for stoners. The Louisville band offers a heavy rendition
of “Gimme Shelter” (The Rolling Stones) on this heavy album where the drums are
punched, not played. Phil Durr of Big Chief plays guitar on four tracks and two
additional guests are of Monster Magnet fame. Ed Mundell plays lead guitar on
“Peepshow” and Bobby Pantella lends bass to “Getting’ Shitty.” (3.5)


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Kristi Martel
The Mule
Sealed Lip Records

Kristi Martel is refreshing and unique among singer-songwriters today. She employs
post-classical piano and the dramatic vocal style of Twentieth Century Music
art song in delivering the lyrics of real life. She is a middle point between
Tori Amos and Diamanda Galás. Fans of Laura Nyro will also appreciate this powerful,
dynamic musician that combines exquisite technique with a hip, natural style.
(4.5)


Ralph E. Hayes
Long Drive Home
33rd Street Records

Ralph E. Hayes calls his instrumental guitar music “instrumental guitar noir music”
and “mood music for the 21st century.” While it strikes me as more timeless in
a classic sense (shadows of blues and cool jazz drift by), the “noir” angle taps
into the sonic chiaroscuro of this soundtrack for the gloaming. The best material,
ideally suited to midnight rights on long, lonely roads, clusters to the beginning
of this CD, especially in “Deep into the Moment” and “Long Drive Home in the Rain”.
“Long Drive Home in the Rain” is a fine example of the best of the CD. In it,
his guitar lines float over the same understated post-blues fluidity of David
Gilmour, while the entire CD will appeal to fans of Chris Isaak’s guitar style.
However, the rest of the album does not entirely bear out the promise of first
three tracks. (3)


Shawn Persinger is Prester John
The Art of Modern/Primitive Guitar
Innova

Shawn Persinger’s goal here is to apply to an acoustic guitar the approach of
the modern/primitive art movement, e.g. Joan Miro, Picasso and Paul Klee. That
is to sublimate the technique that comes possible with skill into a more immediate,
visceral delivery. I’ll leave it to someone more astute to compare Persinger’s
“Betray your Country” to Picasso’s “Guernica”, but I do find the experimental
acoustic guitar playing bears comparison to Michael Hedges and many of the fine
moments on Henry Kaiser’s 156 Strings compilation, which included Persinger.
(3.5)


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Eleanor McEvoy
Early Hours
Market Square Records

A glance at the back of this CD offers such words as “McEvoy”, “fiddle”, “O’Gorman”
and “Anach Cuain”. All this may suggest Celtic folk, but the breadth of this singer-songwriter
is such that she may be equal parts Beale Street with her Gaelic. This allows
her to transform Chuck Berry rocker “Memphis Tennessee” into a plaintive ballad
on the plight of estranged fathers. This is a moving album propelled by McEvoy’s
personal delivery (she means it, she feels it) and simple, direct music bearing
unadorned but moving melodies. (3.5)


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John And The Sisters
John And The Sisters
NorthernBlues Music

Kevin Breit leads this rowdy blues band. Breit is a very talented musician and
some very good music can be heard from him on Jubilee (NorthernBlues Music). This
CD is perhaps more about having a laugh rather than displaying skill and winning
style. The liner notes proudly proclaim, “rarely more than 2 takes per song.”
Starting off with a big clamor about a waistband (“Too Damn Big”) may strike one
as a more a joke about the blues than an album of the blues. However, the best
thing to do is have fun with yourself, let the bombast of “Big Bomb” hit you like
too much draft beer at a family picnic. (3)


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Trapeze
Trapeze
Lemon Recordings

Creative center of Moody Blues, bassist/singer/songwriter John Lodge, produced
this exquisite example of English prog rock. The album, a heady blend of psychedelic
pop and vocal harmonies, has long been out of print. This album came to be after
the group signed to Moody Blues’ Threshold Records and the group was obviously
a nice fit as this album offers melodic rock focused on vocal arrangements and
dramatic arrangements, similar to classic Moody Blues. Bassist/vocalist Glenn
Hughes exhibits the vocal styles he later lent to distinctive Deep Purple recordings.
Mel Galley offers a much more restrained approach to guitar than he later exhibited
in Whitesnake and Black Sabbath while drummer Dave Holland economically supports
the group giving no hint to being a future powerhouse pushing behind Judas Priest.
(4)


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Otis Taylor
Double V
Telarc

Otis Taylor’s Double V continues his legacy of potent blues story-songs
where a striking narrative telegraphs over a direct, simple and blunt blues tune.
This hypnotic, Delta-inspired trance blues accentuates the anger, mystery and
warning of Taylor’s message-songs. Taylor sees the blues in modern society so
poignantly that he really is one of the most compelling voices in modern blues.
An elderly couple is driven to eat dog food (“Plastic Spoon”) and Taylor gives
us a history lesson in “He Never Raced on Sunday” as to how racist bicycle race
promoters used Major Taylor’s religious convictions against him. Listen to Taylor
and come away awed and angered, moved and enlightened. (5)


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