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Sunday, June 5, 2011



The Von Ehrics
Two Foot Stomp (Lucky Buck) :: From Von Iva and Von Dutch to Von Bodé and Von Halen, it’s a well-known historical fact that the greatest rock ’n’ roll bands in the world have always had a much-coveted “Von” in their names—and these here Von Ehrics ain’t no exception to the grindhouse gruel ’cause their Texas-tough brand of guitar-driven block-brawlin’ beats is cast iron certain to keep you on the edge of your teetering bar seat until you find yourself tipped over and suckin’ sawdust. Points deducted for not getting Von Wood to give ’em some neck.

Rory Block
Shake ’Em On Down: A Tribute To Mississippi Fred McDowell (Stony Plain) :: Speaking of serious necking, you don’t want to miss this new album by one of the world’s premier country blues practitioners. As you might expect from someone who’s been fingering frets since the early ’60s and has over 25 albums to her credit, Rory does Fred justice but, even better, she’s written her own excellent odes to the man—which is only fitting considering that she actually met Fred, just like she met Son House who she likewise lionized on an earlier album. Best of all, this living historian of the genre gets it done just by using her signature Martin and her signifying voice.

Tha Funk Capitol Of The World (Mascot) :: I’ll always consider bassman Bootsy’s riotously inventive and utterly unorthodox synth-soaked funxperimental album Ultra Wave to be his ace masterpiece, but there’s no denying that this new educational encapsulation of what’s been going on in the hierarchy of hip is the first fresh fusion funk bomb of the decade. And although guest star appearances on an album are usually a sure-fire death-knell declaration of aesthetic bankruptcy, who could possibly argue with the delirious dream team that Casper’s assembled; an all star selection so sonically stellar that even a partial accounting deserves to have a paragraph all its own:

Bobby Womack! George Clinton! Jimi Hendrix! Chuck D! Ice Cube! Snoop Dogg! Sheila E! Catfish Collins! Buckethead! Béla Fleck! plus over a dozen more, including the unlikely likes of Samuel L. Jackson (!) telling hometown tales on “After These Messages” and rapmeister Reverend Al Sharpton (!!) who—don’t laugh—actually delivers the goods six ways from Sunday on the GFOS accolade “JB-Still The Man.”

From the mortarboard dissertation “Hip Hop @ Funk U” that lives up to its name to the rock machination “Minds Under Construction” that picks up where Bootzilla’s collaboration with Jeff Beck on “The House Of The Blue Danube” left off, this one’s got it all—and there’s only one thing you can say about the soulful make out music that ends the album, the likes of which haven’t been heard since the sensuously smooth sound cracks waxed by the lubricous love firm of Hayes & White Incorporated:

A-well-a-ruh, that’s alright!

Be seeing you!

Sun, June 5, 2011 | link 

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