Capsule Reviews by Mark E. Waterbury

Ameet Kamath – Into The Night
Grant Road Records 
Born and raised in Mumbai but now a resident of the Twin Cities, singer-songwriter Ameet Kamath creates a mesmerizing blend of cultural influences into his music. The subtleties of Indian music mesh wonderfully with the varied musical architecture of his new home. R&B, jazz, Americana, and rock are twisted into a mosaic that has both hooky qualities and enough eccentricities to make you really notice the talent put into the creation. Add to that the great stories he weaves and you have an excellent CD here. 

Chase Walker Band – Not Quite Legal
With his sophomore effort, rootsy Chicago singer/songwriter/guitarist Chase Rice displays depth and maturity stunningly considering  he is only eighteen years old. Riding the fence between blues and rock with judicious applications of folk and country as well, Chase is a strong songwriter with a bluesy, slightly Petty-ish voice and can tear up the six string with the best of them, especially noticeable on his smoking version of Hendrix’s “Red House.” Look out for this kid! 

Emily Maguire – Bird Inside A Cage
British singer-songwriter Emily Maguire graces us with another collection of wonderful tunes brimming with uplifting lyrics punctuated by her sweetly emotive voice. From Joni Mitchell-esque folk to hooky pop structures and bare-bones ballads, Emily has a knack of creating feel good music full of warmth, life and hope. Her vocal work and the ethereal but crisp instrumental backdrops are the perfect vehicle for her heartfelt words, enticing you to experience her emotions and stories along with her. 

Jon Spear Band – Live at the Southern: Live Music Is Better
Bind Racoon Records – 
A lot of people do agree that live music is better and the Jon Spear Band’s performance in Charlottesville, VA captured here definitely stamps an exclamation point on that claim. The sizzling blues rock master and his cohorts are at their best here, and you can easily kick back and imagine yourself in the crowd. Several extended versions really ramp up the music intensity. This is a close as you can get to a live show with the Jon Spear Band, but even if you have seen them before, this will help keep the memories blazing. 

The Jordan Patterson Band – The Back On Track Recording Project
Flaming Cheese Records – fc2016-0201
It has been twenty years since the debut CD of this Alberta based vocalist/harmonica player, and one may wonder, why? Throw the speculations out the window as this CD is a wonderful gift. Traditional blues powered by snarling guitar riffs and harp-blowing in the vein of Paul Butterfield will make you happy he is back on track. He’s also not afraid to add touches of folk, funk and other stylings into the tunes, but if you want to hear the essence of Jordan, check out “If You Help Me Please.” Traditional blues-rock at its killer-best. 

Kalo – Dear John
Born in Israel and now residing in Oklahoma, Kalo saunters down various blues paths, creating a heady mix of enjoyable songs. From loud, brash fat-corded stompers to smooth R&B groovers and multiple stops in between, Kalo handles it all with talent and passion. Her voice is equally up to the task of handling everything from gut-busting howls to heart-tugging emotive croons. This is diverse and entertaining music at its finest. 

Markey Blue – The Blues Are Knockin’
SoulOSound Records 
This duo of vocalist Markey and guitarist Ric Latina will let you in for a great ride if you open the door to them. Markey’s voice is seems in a nice mid-ground between the two Bonnies (Raitt and Bramlett), handling the rockers and ballads with emotive grace and power. Rick can shred the blues with the best of them, unleashing a fury of licks while still being able to throttling back when it works. Backed by a core of talented players and with lyrics straight from the heart and soul, this is blues that is not merely knockin’, it will knock you out! 



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