Invictus Reggie Quinerly
Redefinition Music

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Drummer/composer Reggie Quinerly takes inspiration from the poem by William 
Ernest Henley which says "I am the master of my fate/i am the captain of my 
soul.  " Quinerly's album, "Invictus," demonstrates with its very different 
musical demands just how much he has developed into a balanced yet 
ever-evolving artist.  "Invictus" makes you happy, and that's what music ought to do. 
The album is a manifesto.  I've been listening to jazz for 55 years, but 
Quinerly has created something that goes beyond music. 

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Face The Fire Michelle Chamuel
The End Records, Inc.

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

With walls of synthesizers and big hooks "Face the Fire" is a pop 
masterpiece that delivers infectious melodies and thundering energy.  Michelle 
Chamuel is no stranger to the stage or the music industry.  She got her start 
playing with Ella Riot.  When they disbanded Michelle went solo.  I hear 
dark evil burners here with lyrics about basement gigs and lost love.  There are 
damaged licks crying across the years.  There are perfect pop ballads 
telling her one and only "you are all i need." 

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On the Crosswalk Yngvil Vatn Guttu
Kachemak Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Yngvil Vatn Guttu does not just make music, she makes music "happen."  Since 
the age of three, as a little kid in norway, she produced a note on a 
trumpet on her first try.  She later listened to the classic strains of Louis 
Armstrong that inspired the balance of note-for-note classical exposition and 
soulful elaboration.  The album she created here is like a well-maintained 
eighteen wheeler, making up in power and presence what it lacks in frills. 

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Down by THe Bayou JeConte
Red Parlor Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Sweet world music-blues singer/harp player Jeconte mixes it up with 
legendary blues-rock guitarist Anders Osborne to release "Down by The Bayou.  " The 
album combines the grit and essence of Cajun swampy, blues-rock with high 
energy world-music grooves to create an explosive and soulful concoction.  This 
album is a haunting meditation on escape.  Jeconte and Osborne are the 
sultans of smooth, this album is voodoo.  It is paradise brought to the new world. 
They seem like stoners.  It's all love with your friends to support you. 
Do we need anything else? 

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Feeling You the 60's Kc & The Sunshine Band
BFD

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

For the first time in over a decade, Wayne Casey, also known as KC, has 
brought his sunshine band back together, to recreate classic songs by artists 
including Bob Dylan, The Righteous Brothers and other greats and released an 
album entitled "Feeling You! the 60s."  Their funky party strut typified the 
feel-good vibe pumping through Miami's dance floors during the 
polyester-cloaked '70s. the sunshine band's harmonious horns were an answer to the Vietnam War's era of pure dread.  In place of backstabbers, riots and chemical 
weapons Henry Wayne Casey rallied like a pre-"Saturday night fever" John 
Travolta.  His call to arms?  Shake your booty.  There is no auto-tuned gloss here. His
voice sounds as if it was run through a rusty 1960s stage mic than a 
digital work station.  At the same time roof-raising choruses pegs Kc & The 
Sunshine Band as children of the blues. 

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It's About Us Alex & Sierra
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Alex and Sierra met while in high school.  The duo linked creatively and 
romantically on the rock and roll road.  They are proving that it's all 
about the fans.  When I saw them perform in San Francisco, creating artisan 
folk rock with tons of ambition I was sold.  On a table sagging with big box pop 
their glorious future is a beautiful revelation.  More than anything there's 
a palpable young restlessness coursing though their souls.

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Revelries Humming House
Rock Ridge Music

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

No band embodies what's right about 21st Nashville more completely than the 
quintet known as Humming House.  Now that Leslie Rodriguez brought a 
lustrous female sound to mest with Justin Wade Tam's hearty singing the group 
belts barroom blues, croons cabaret and explore all kinds of heartbreaking, 
life-affirming sounds on "Revelries."

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Real Thing D.A. Foster
Vizz Tone

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

D.A. Foster learned to sing the blues from some of the greats, up front and 
personal.  He was hands-on co-owner of the legendary Connecticut roadhouse, 
the Shaboo inn, who hosted legends like Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee 
Hooker, B.B. King and many more.  This funk-soul man and your dreams give 
old sounding hits sleek, modern makeovers without sacrificing an ounce of 
warmth. 

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House Party Live in Germany The J. Geils Band
Eagle Rock

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The year was 1979.  The J. Geils band were touring Europe when they made a 
pit stop in Essen, Germany to perform on the famed television series 
"Rockpalast."  "Take out your false teeth, mama ... I wanna SUCK on your GUMS."  With 
those gentle words front man Peter Buck seared himself onto rock history, and 
his henchmen took their place as the finest Jewish blues-rockers ever to do 
the Boston monkey.  This double album takes every pop cliche to bombastic 
heights.  The end result suggests old time strip-club anthems. top of the line.

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Branches of the Same Tree Rocky Dawuni
Cumbancha

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

International music star and humanitarian activist Rocky Duwani straddles 
the musical boundaries between Africa, the Caribbean and the United States to 
create an inspiring "Afro-roots" sound that unites generations and 
cultures.  He is a force to be reckoned with.  Sad to say you really don't hear great 
new reggae anymore.  It may be out there but i don't hear it.  "Branches of 
the same tree" has changed that for me. and in a huge way.

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Always and Forever Alien Ant Farm
Executive Music

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The lead singer of Alien Ant Farm, Dryden Mitchell, said that "The 
curiosity for this band and its new material has been insane."  He's the boldest 
singer in postmodern music, hands down.  He sings as if he's in a church.  But 
he's cursing out the system.  He can sing anything. period. 

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Sweet Freaks Brand New Heavies
Eagle Vision

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The brand New Heavies are London-based acid jazz innovators and expert 
purveyors of funky grooves and incredibly soulful harmonies.  With "sweet freaks" 
they have created a masterpiece of erotic persuasion.  The album is a 
meditation of reality and fantasy.  Their ideas are so big one can only scratch the 
surface. 

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Songs of Anarchy: Volume 4 Various Artists
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

I'm told that the series, Sons of Anarchy, will no longer be seen on FX 
network.  As far as the music goes, that's fine with me.  The forest rangers 
was the house band but they probably never heard of the international 
workers of the world (iww).  Now i ain't no anarchist, but I know a few.  We discuss 
Capitalism and how evil it is.  So this soundtrack has nothing to do with 
Anarchism.  There's an androgynous, very feminine dude, there's a James Brown 
dude, there's a gospel dude and there's a rock and roll dude.  They have so 
many different textures, different voices, different dimensions.  Everything 
is very funky, but if I want Anarchism i better dream of Joe Hill.

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Gone Girl Trent Reznor&atticus Ross
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The double album soundtrack has been called both haunting and sublimely 
uneasy and a synthesis of cinema and sound..  This music is for me, where the 
soul of man never dies.  It is so gentle and mystical and spooky.

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No Sound Without Silence The Script
Columbia

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

The joy I had seeing them live last year.  The Script has sold more than 20 
million albums for good reason.  These Dublin rockers are a three men group 
who create riveting efforts with a larger-than-life enthusiasm  for their 
craft.  Their singer/songwriter Danny O'Donoghue is the finest lead singer I've 
seen lately--the best showman, conveying the pure spirit of rock and roll. 
I bet he's still on stage with his vocal chords throbbing to this day.  I 
just love hearing a cool story within 3 minutes--as a lyricist that's what I 
want to do.

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Amen for Old Friends Kacey Jones
Igo Records

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Kacey Jones ranges from the humorous to the poignant.  On "Amen For Old 
Friends" she combines elements from both sides of her musical personality, 
successfully demonstrating diversity as a multi-dimensional artist.  With the 
ability to bring the listener to tears, be they tears of laughter or sorrow.   
Kacey embodies true country style--avoid grandiosity, keep it simple.

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Make Up Your Mind Kevin Cline
Kevin Cline Music

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Pianist/Trombonist Kevin Cline keeps a low profile, so much so that even 
his neighbors on Chicago's northwest side don't realize the depths of his 
talent.  When he appeared it was a moment when the entire world of music was 
being turned upside down and given a good shake.  It got a lot of people excited 
to start making music for the first time.  But the record also has a 
galvanizing effect on people who were already in bands to reassess themselves and 
try something different.

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Live At The Bicentennial 1776-1976 Gentle Giant
ALUCARD MUSIC

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

This album was recorded almost 40 years ago but only released recently. 
Gentle Giant was something of a working man's progressive rock group.  They 
bring a light-hearted twist to even the most complex material, deftly avoiding 
the most artistic pretensions that dogged its contemporaries.  The band was 
also intensely prolific and creatively diverse, able to meld many variants of 
hard rock into its distinctine, almost personal style.  Every line in the 
double-album is actually the start of a whole tale.  When they wrote the songs 
it seems like they thought they wouldn't have enough time to create any more 
stories, so they put all they had into each tune.  Derek Shulman's voice is 
the most prominent, and he often sounds like a man who has lost his mind, 
with a passion dripping from his lighter-than-air falsetto.

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Artful Dodger Ian Hunter
Made in Germany Musi

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Combining the swagger of a heavier rolling stones and the poetic fervor of 
a 1966 Bob Dylan sounds like an audacious idea.  The amazing thing is that 
Mott the Hoople pulled it off.  Who was the lead singer and Brains Behing 
Mott the Hoople but Ian Hunter, who mixed tenderness with toughness, irony 
with compassion.  He has an entirely different approach than most male 
vocalists.  Wild and uninhibited yet still focused and deliberate.  His performances 
are more about passionate abandon and nuanced phrasing than perfect pitch.  He 
screams, sings, cries. 

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Forever Changed T Graham Brown
MRI

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

T. Graham Brown rose to country stardom through the uniquely southern 
phenomenon of beach music, a party-ready mix of old-time rock and roll, r & b 
country and blues.  So it's no wonder that "Forever Changed" includes special 
guests like Vince Gill, Leon Russell and many more.  He really brings the funk 
on this one.  He can do that like no one else can even attempt to do.  Funk, 
soul, country, pop.  He is smart and stubborn and he refuses to be confined 
to one genre. 

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Caged Bird Songs Maya Angelou
Smooch Music Inc.

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

Maya Angelou's grandson said that with her dedication to social activism 
she could illuminate the struggles and injustices of the urban experience 
through her prose.  There's a direct correlation to hip hop today.  Maya's 
rebellious, street-wise commentary on inner-city circumstances and her braggadocios 
flair for colloquial slang has been perfectly pared here with modern rap 
beats.  She opens her mouth and sings, you would stand there with your 
mouth open.  Her honey-coated, slightly adenoidal voice was one of the most 
affecting sounds i ever heard.  She would grapple with the end of time.  But the 
tumbling culminated not in catastrophe but with an artist feeling her taste to 
sing out against ugliness wherever maya angelou saw it.

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