Outsight

Sentenced at Last

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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

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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,

  1. 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

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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</i>. The songs will be made available exclusively as full-length

audio streams on his Website, http://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</i> is available for download at http://www.johnfrusciante.com.

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ALMOST OF AGE


Dionysus Records (http://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 (http://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…

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Listen

to or Buy Twisted Roots at Amazon.com</a>

Listen

to or Buy The Bolides at Amazon.com</a>

Listen

to or Buy Peachfuzz at Amazon.com</a>

Listen

to or Buy The Thrills at Amazon.com</a></font></p>


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</i> (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</i> (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</a>). 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”.</p>

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on the Goldfinger DVD from Amazon.com</a>

More

on the Sinatra DVD from Amazon.com

More on the Napa State DVD from Amazon.com</a>

More on the Go Jazz All Stars DVD from Amazon.com</a>

More on the Dopes, Guns DVD from Amazon.com</a>

More on the 12 O’ClockDVD from Amazon.com</a>

</p>


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</a></i>

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)

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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) </p>


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) </p>


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) </p>


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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