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Elvin Bishop

Elvin Bishop

Can’t Even Do Wrong Right

(Alligator Records)

Elvin Bishop was never the deepest of bluesmen—he’s a good-timey entertainer and proud of it. And if you boogied to his Struttin My Stuff album back in high school, you’ll find here that he’s still throwing the same party 40 years later: The most angst-ridden this album gets is on the title tune’s story of [...]

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Michael Cerveris & Loose Cattle

Michael Cerveris & Loose Cattle

North of Houston

(Broadway Records)

As a fan of the Who dating back to the band’s earliest American performances, I approached the Broadway production of Tommy with trepidation, fearful of another degradation of Pete Townshend’s spiritually sophisticated rock masterpiece. Not only did I find myself enjoying the production, I was knocked out by the young actor who played the title [...]

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Ironing Board Sam & the Sticks

Ironing Board Sam & the Sticks

Ironing Board Sam & the Sticks

(Music Maker)

Ironing Board Sam is quirky, though always in a magically creative kind of way. The 75-year-old keyboardist, vocalist and composer is blessed with an imaginative mind that often moves his music into surprising places. Take, for instance, his version of “Summertime,” off his new, self-titled release on the Music Maker label. The tune is considered [...]

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Good Children

Good Children

An Evening in the Rookery

(Independent)

Good Children exists as a vehicle for the songs of local singer-songwriter Michael Wilder, and his decision to record this debut EP live in the studio was a wise one—in retrospect, it seems kind of silly to spend a lot of studio time and polish on your shaggy-dog tales. These seven songs don’t work too [...]

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Marcia Ball

Marcia Ball

The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man

(Alligator Records)

Consistency is a virtue, at least in the case of Marcia Ball. With The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man, the Texas blueswoman continues her string of reliably wonderful, largely up-tempo albums, replete with honking sax and her own barrelhouse-influenced piano. “Clean My House” features particularly rollicking solos, as Ball’s left-hand-heavy star turn gives way [...]

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The Cookers

The Cookers

Time and Time Again

(Montema Music)

Okay, simply put, Time and Time Again is a great album. That is not at all surprising considering the depth, experience and power of the members of the Cookers. To get the drift, it is absolutely essential to mention their illustrious names and a (very) few of their jazz credits. The Cookers, all of whom [...]

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Jeremy Lyons

Jeremy Lyons

Make It Better

(Independent)

If it’s been a while since you’ve heard the music of Jeremy Lyons, his sonic artistry has changed somewhat since he left New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He no longer does the retro-roots thing for dancing Southern audiences, but has come full circle to being a folk artist, since Bostonians prefer to listen [...]

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Jimmy Carpenter

Jimmy Carpenter

Walk Away

(Vizztone)

Saxophonist Jimmy Carpenter is one of the unsung heroes of the 24/7/365 world of New Orleans music, a mainstay from Frenchmen Street to the Maple Leaf in a variety of settings and an indispensable element in one of the city’s hottest working bands, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters. Carpenter showed he had a frontman’s [...]

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Mo’Fone

Mo’Fone

‘Fonology

(Independent)

It’s clear why San Francisco-based Mo’Fone has thus far in its nascent musical journey gained critical acclaim from jazz publications and popular applause from the groovy set after listening to the saxes-and-drum trio’s third album, ‘Fonology, where attributes appealing to both thinkers and dancers are on fine display. A contemplative, smooth-jazz vibe informs the opening [...]

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Extrapedestrian

Tomorrow Is a Gift

(Independent)

Naming yourself Extrapedestrian just begs for smart-mouth critics such as myself to throw the tag back in your face. That is, unless what you’re doing is so strange and off the wall that no one could possibly make the connection. Or unless “extra” is being used in the classicist Latin sense: meaning that it has [...]

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