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MXPX punkifies ’80s classics

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altPunk pop band MXPX revisit the ’80s on their second CD of covers,  On the Cover 2. The Bremerton, Washington trio, sounding  similar to ‘ Me First and the Gimmie, Gimmies.’ tackles  actual punk songs like  the Dead Milkmen’s ‘Punk Rock Girl,” except they add an accordion solo, and spot on versions of ‘Kids in America’ and the Ramones’  ‘My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)’, and an all right version of  the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.’ But they tackle some surprising  choices—  The GoGo’s Vacation,’ and Belinda Carlisle’s ‘ Heaven is a Place on Earth,’ which   ends up sounding pretty interesting with male vocals.
They also do a decent version of U2’s ‘I Will Follow.’  They even add a punk edge to ’80s hair metal by covering  Poison’s “ Fallen Angel.”
I also really like  their punk version of Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love.”
If you want to hear some fun versions of ’80s classics, check this out.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Group: MxPx
CD: On The Cover 2
genre: punk pop
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Rich Hope whips it on ya

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Artist: Rich Hope

CD: Whip It On Ya

Genre: blues/blues rock

 Vancouver based  mutant bluesman Rich Hope is back with his third CD, “Whip It On Ya.” And in 36 some minutes, shows a pretty wide range of vocals, slide guitar and harp playing.
This time he has trimmed down  to a duo, Hope plays all kinds of sick slide guitar riffs, sings throat shredding vocals and plays a a little bit of deadly harmonica, while Adrian Mack hammers the kit behind him.
The CDd begins with a hyperactive version of Don Gardner’s obscure soul classic, “My Baby Likes To Boogaloo.”  The hyperactivity continues on the title track, “Whip It On Ya” which is where we hear  some harp as well. He slows down slightly on Mananimous which has some  melodic singing and picks up the tempo as expected on a   song called “Let’s Jump Aorund Some.”
He slows it right down on a surprisingly long track  (5 minutes plus which is long on a CD which averages 2-3 minute songs) “Death Bed Blues,” which really shows of his vocals and some sick slower riffs.
“When My Light Comes Shining,” is a quasi-religious  acoustic blues number which is still pretty intense. My favourite track is “You’re and Ice Queen Baby,” which is a four to the floor rocker with a steady beat.
 “Rollin’ On” clocks in at over seven minutes with a slow beat and impassioned vocals.
“Blackbird Bakery Pie Blues” is an uptempo rocker which  shows off  Hope’s slide prowess and harp playing.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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All The Good Ones aren’t gone yet

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All the good ones aren’t really gone, despite the title of  Taber based country singer/songwriter Dusty Dee Litchfield. And giving his debut CD, “All The Good Ones Are Gone” one of many listens, hopefully there will be more  to come from Litchfield, who is often playing the Lethbridge Folk Club’s open mics.alt
In the spirit of Corb Lund, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, his new CD runs the gamut between tender ballads  like “ You’re  So Good Lookin’ (When You Smile)  and “ And They Danced,” and uptempo foot stompers like “Willie Young,” featuring a sizzling solo from local bluesman Paul Kype and “Get on the Floor and Dance,”  and “Small Town Fun.”
Litchfield  plays most of the instruments on his crisply recorded, professional sounding CD, but adds lots of talented local cats including drummer Brad Brouwer, Tyler Bird on Stand up Bass and Brryan Bradfield on dobro.
Litchfield has a distinctive voice and a quirky sense of humour exhibited on  the title track as well as a knack for telling a good story like on “ Faded Trails,” “Hell Almighty” and “ Willie Young.”
— By Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor
Cd : All The Good Ones Are Gone
Artist; Dusty Dee Litchfield
Genrte:country
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Big Road Blues CD is exactly what you see on the road

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If you missed Doc MacLean and Big Dave McLean’s super  show of gritty, down home, delta blues at the Slice, Oct. 24, 2009, then  their new CD  “Big Road Blues” is an almost note for note, word for word replication of their tour Doc MacLean and Big Dave McLean in Lethbridge. Photo by Richard Amerytogether.
The CD, recorded in Calgary in October 2007 not only includes most of their set, but almost all of the stories and introductions.
Because both bluesmen know their history, the set includes interpretations of legends like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon and Son House as well as several of their originals.
Doc MacLean’s song Jimmy Lee Jackson’s Blues anf the introductory story is especially  moving as it puts the listener right in the middle of  a civil rights protest  spurred by a murder in Alabama some 50 years ago. But what makes this CD  such an entertaining listen is hearing how the two masters play off each other. Doc MacLean adds washboard and guitar to Big Dave’s songs, while McLean returns the favour by playing harmonica, guitar and back up vocals.
 Doc MacLean’s  deep southern drawl is especially unforgettable especially when he adds his unique wavering, almost yodeling warble.
As expected, the playing is impeccable throughout with Big Dave McLean employing some tasteful slide guitar being on “You Got To Move,” with Doc MacLean adding some distinctive background vocals. MacLean ’s voice is almost hypnotic even on his long introductions like  on “Johnson Terraplane.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

CD : Big Road Blues
Artists: Big Dave McLean and Doc MacLean
genre: blues

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New Dave McCann CD on fire

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Dave McCann and the Firehearts went down to east Nashville to record their new CD “Dixiebluebird,” with Will Kimbrough, who has worked with Todd Snider.alt
Singer McCann, backed by a top notch band including electric guitarist Dave Bauer, bassist Pete Loughlin, pedal steel player Charlie Hase and drummer Tim Williams, sounds a little like Todd Snider mixed with Jay Faraar and Wilco.
 The new music has a lot of country tinged tracks sure to be future fan favourites including “Fireheart,” Darkest For the Dawn” and “Broken Bugs” as well as some  that are already stalwart standbyes in his set including “Bloodpines” and ”Road to Cain.”
In fact, if there was any justice in the music industry,  “Fireheart” should be a hit single screaming up the country  charts, thanks to three beautiful chords and a  pretty sweet 12-string guitar riff and solo which powers the melody along with  some tasteful lead guitar throughout.
I like the tremolo tinged “Standing in the River” and the mandolin tinged “Inferno ” also had a really neat Hawaiian feel thanks to some creatively used pedal steel guitar.
 The CD starts slowly with  “Unfamiliar,” but picks up the pace with “ A Road To Cain,” of which McCann already recorded a live version on his last CD, “Shoot the Horse,” which also has  a version of “Blood Pines.”
Dave McCann takes country back to its roots while adding a little bit of rock edge.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Dixiebluebird
Artist: Dave McCann and the Firehearts
Genre: country rock
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