Volume III, Issue II Summer 2004

Outsight music column for June 2004

By Tom Shulte


Outsight brings to light non-mainstream music, film, books, art, ideas and opinions. Published, somewhere, monthly since July 1991. Feel free to reprint this article. E-mail Outsight at outsight@usa.net

Outsight Radio Hours – Internet radio Webcasts with live interviews.

Previous Outsight columns in Turbula:

May 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004

Mia's murderer convicted, sentenced

Mia ZapataJesus 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 (right), 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, 2004. 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 3:20 a.m. in the streets of Seattle's Central Area.

The sentencing took place Friday, April 30. The standard sentencing range for first-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 horrorific 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, more than 36 years. He will be 86 or dead when he leaves Walla Walla. Check The Gits Web page for more details.

Marijuana Policy Project's new celebrity effort

Marijuana Policy ProjectComedian Bill Maher, former Minnesota Gov. 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 MarijuanaPolicy.org.

More Pixies fall 2004 concerts

The PixiesThe 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

The HentchmenAs of April 23, 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, Mich. 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 FruscianteJohn 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." The songs will be made available exclusively as full-length audio streams on his Website, 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."

Almost of age

Dionysus RecordsDionysus Records 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." Labels issued by Dionysus include 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, Calif., 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 of the same name 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. 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 latest 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 sources, 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.

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 Frank Sinatra ShowFor premium skit-and-dance TV entertainment of a previous generation, take in "The Frank Sinatra Show: Welcome Home Elvis" (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 it says: a very young band plays for the patients 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" (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 videos is collected on "12 O'Clock High, Volumes 1 & 2" (Atavistic Video; http://www.atavistic.com). 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".

CD reviews

(Ratings on a scale of 0-5 stars)

Smarten Up* * * *
Smarten Up
Taxi Chain
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 pushes his group, and a group of some very talented individuals it is. This newest release from the band shows the group 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.

Ahvak* * * * ½
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.

Stealers Wheel* * * *
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.

The Back of Beyond* * * * ½
The Back of Beyond
Frank Pahl
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," 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 handful of music to pick up and draw to your ear. (You can hear an interview with Frank about his automaton music at musicsojourn.com/AR/Jazz/page/p/PahlFrank.htm.

Third World Warrior / Repossessed* * * *
Third World Warrior / Repossessed
Kris Kristofferson
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 sing 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.

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" who learned his production craft simply to make this Floyd remix album.

Three Sisters* * * ½
Three Sisters
Alice Donut
Howler Records

The reunited, original lineup of Alice Donut 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 social commentary than before, as on "Cost" and "Setting Sun." Generally dismissive of malls and 401Ks, Alice Donut still has its outlaw charm.

High Volume* * * ½
High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection
Various Artists
High Times Records

High Times magazine 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.

Maggi, Pierce And E.J.* * * ½
Maggi, Pierce And E.J.
Maggi, Pierce And E.J.
MPE Records

This post-folk trio 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 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)

The Beginning* * * ½
The Beginning
The Features

This debut EP from Sparta, Tennessee band The Features has hard indie rock bookends in the title track and the 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.

Andre Ethier With Christopher Sandes Featuring Pickles and Price* * * *
André Ethier With Christopher Sandes Featuring Pickles and Price
André Ethier
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."

Colors of the Year* * ½
Colors of the Year
The Whiles
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.

Sissyfoot* * *
Furious Billy
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 close the album: "At Your Door" is a melancholy song that is largely acoustic, while the final track, "I Swallowed a Cat," is a fun, jangle-pop tune with lyrics that could have been written by Shel Silverstein.

Herschell Gordon Lewis & The Amazing Pink Holes* * * *
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.

... It Falls Apart* * *
... It Falls Apart
For Stars
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.

Black Earth* * * *
Black Earth
Bohren And Der Club Of Gore

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.

Bridgeburner* * * ½
The Glasspack
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."

The Mule* * * * ½
The Mule
Kristi Martel
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.

Long Drive Home* * *
Long Drive Home
Ralph E. Hayes
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.

The Art of Modern/Primitive Guitar* * * ½
The Art of Modern/Primitive Guitar
Shawn Persinger is Prester John

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 becomes 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.

Early Hours* * * ½
Early Hours
Eleanor McEvoy
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.

John and The Sisters* * *
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." 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.

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 harmonies 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.

Double V* * * * *
Double V
Otis Taylor

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.

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