Rock Doc reviews for Dec 22

As you may or may not know, December is the busiest month in the radio game- so not only have I been working 12 hour days, they’ve been a hard twelve.  Wish I had more reviews for you this week, but I’ve barely even had time to breathe.  Once we get into January, I should have some more stuff for you.Merry Christmas and happy holidays, John the Rock Doctor MADE UP MIND Tedeschi Trucks Band (Masterworks) *****Another sign that it’s time for me to stop writing reviews- I listened to this incredible record weeks ago when it arrived, enjoyed it immensely, threw it in my desk drawer to tell you about later… then forgot it was there until earlier this afternoon when I was digging for something else.  My wife calls it “Some-timers”, I call it frigging annoying, but there’s one thing for sure… Made Up Mind is a slice of pure excellence.This isn’t my first brush with  TTB but it is far and away the funkiest.  Of course the blues are present- there’s no way Derek Trucks can disguise his Allman Brothers Band lineage- but soul and funk are the engine and power train of Made Up Mind with plenty of jammy tunes in the 5 minute range.  Trucks’ wife, singer/ guitarist Tedeschi, sounds reasonably similar to Bonnie Raitt when she steps up to the mic, and Derek has built this musical family around him like you-know-who.  There are 10 people in the band, all nuanced players ready to turn on a dime when given the nod.A lot of territory covered here- if Whiskey Legs isn’t a party tune I don’t know what is, and a ballad like Sweet And Low is a sad, resigned lost love song, but still the kind of song you hope comes on at the end of the night when you finally work up the gumption to ask that chick you like for the pleasure of a dance.Made Up Mind is an album about life, and it feels that way too.  If this is one of the last records I am ever to review, it’s a pretty good one to go out on.COOL CUTS:  Sweet And Low, Whiskey Legs, Do I Look Worried DREAMING OF HOME Susan Aglukark (Aglukark) ****Those that know me know that Christmas is not my favorite time of year for reasons I’m sure you’re not interested in, and when it comes to music of the season my taste goes to the extremes- the music of childhood Christmases (Bing Crosby, The Peanuts Christmas Special) or something fresh and new that moves me in some way.  Susan Aflukark’s new holiday album Dreaming Of Home is just such an album.Though I haven’t fanatically collected everything she’s done, I’ve considered myself a fan since first hearing O Siem. Her voice is a pure and beautiful instrument that reaches me and on this disc- a mix of traditional Christmas fare with songs I am not familiar with- you can feel the love, even on the spoken passage in Old Toy Trains where she talks in, I assume, her native tongue (possibly to her son?)- no pun intended.The instrumentation on Home is lush and familiar, the perfect backdrop for that wonderfully clear voice, making for a frankly gorgeous combination.  There’s not a lot more I can say about this disc, I’m not really prone to dig deep into something like a Christmas album- but I will say that this fits nicely with the collection of holiday music my wife has at home, and it will go right into rotation as soon as I get it home.COOL CUTS:  Silent Night, Do You Hear What I Hear, Old Toy TrainsOTEMPORAL OMORES! Rough Trade (True North)  ***Like many people I expect, the only Rough Trade song I  can remember prior to get this reissued CD is High School Confidential.  Hey man, it was the 80’s… if I wasn’t drunk or stoned and looking action my musical tastes were quite pedestrian.  So I guess it’s better late than never that I would come across this mid-80’s classic and go for a ride.From the sexually charged lyrics of  Sexual Outlaw or Aphrodisiac, I’m surprised this record didn’t cause a scandal at the time.  Keyboard driven songs with electronic drums weren’t interesting to me back then and they aren’t now, but after my interview last year with True North founder Bernie Finkelstein and the things he and to say about this band in general and Carol Pope in particular (if you haven’t actually listened to the words of High School Confidential, it was a gay anthem and a massive hit right across the country) taking a closer looked seemed like a good idea.Omores is full of swirling keyboard textures, driving rock rhythms and, on occasion, lyrics that make you go “wait a minute… what did she just say?” Interesting stuff, but ultimately this album will never be more than an intriguing curiosity to me, and I suspect that would suit the band just fine.  Canadian rock in the 80’s for me was more Doucette or Kim Mitchell, the guitar stuff- but when I’m not listening to something like this disc in a shitty, smoke-filled bar, it’s not so bad.COOL CUTS:  Aphrodisiac, Sexual Outlaw, Low Blow

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The Rock Doctor is in the Cyber House to tell you how it is! (or at least my own opinion). Want a music review? email: rockdoc@gonzookanagan.com. \m/

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