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Saturday, December 23, 2023



Ronnie Earl & The BroadcastersLiving In The Light (Stony Plain) :: Exemplary axe execution elevates this one into the upper blues guitar echelon, but so-so singing drags it back down into the pedestrian part of town where side two of Jimmy Page’s Outrider lives.

Ronnie Earl & The BroadcastersSpread The Love (Stony Plain) :: Exemplary axe execution elevates this one into the upper blues guitar echelon and an utter lack of vocals keeps it there. Bonus points for covering “Cristo Redentor.” Points deducted for including a liner note quote from a pulchritudinous Padre plugging your positive qualities as a human being. Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie. Next time, ditch the shameless self-promotional spiritual payola and let your God-given gift of music do the talkin’ for you instead, alright? Oh my brother, testify!

Duke Robillard’s Jumpin’ Blues RevueStomp! The Blues Tonight (Stony Plain) :: Era-specific pastiches never work because the practitioners can never duplicate the primitive period sound that they’re aping but boy does he ever do these rhythm ’n’ blues to death and die tryin’ in the process. The closest that the Duke comes to cliché is when he covers “Frankie And Johnny” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” but most everything else that he chooses to uncover is spot on, from Ike Turner’s “Tore Up” to Helen Humes’ “Million Dollar Secret.” Clocking in at over an hour in length, this is one retro record that’s an absolute must for your next rent party.

Duke RobillardPassport To The Blues (Stony Plain) :: You might like this one better if you’re a modern era maven but, as your physician, I’d advise you to take both of these and crawl to me in the morning. Your papers please!

Andy KimHappen Again (Iceworks) :: Whether you know it or not, you know Andy as the wunderkind singer-songwriter responsible for such infectious worldwide mega-hits as the Archies’ “Sugar Sugar”—and admit it: your brainpan’s jukebox is playing “Sugar Sugar” right now just by reading that song title, innit? Well, never one to rest on his considerable royalty checks, this tasteful new long player is everything that you’d expect from such a staunch pop stalwart as Andy. Smart singing, smart songwriting and smart playing all add up to Happen Again being the best solo album that John Lennon never lived to record. It’s also the new album that Bryan Ferry wishes he’d recorded instead of Olympia.

SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Black Country CommunionBlack Country Communion (J&R Adventures) :: The vocals are of the scotch-garglin’ style that made Steve Marriott and Bon Scott benchmark wailers; the bass is a bowel-buffeting beast that’ll massage your innards from stench to stern; the slick-swervin’ guitar is straight outta mid ’60s studio nirvana; and the pulse-pounding drums with their thick bludgeoning beats sound uncannily just like John Bonham of Led Zeppelin—which they oughtta since the skin-smashin’ stick man is none other than Bonzo’s son Jason. Toss in some synth-soaked atmoogspherics and you’ve got a recipe for the kind of good old-fashioned “Black Country Rock” that Mom used to hate!

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 23, 2023 | link 

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