Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Sound Check

7/31/2013

cd BG_R&B_covBuddy Guy

“Rhythm and Blues”

RCA

Calling Buddy Guy a blues legend is to be simplistic and reductive. But sometimes an artist’s talents so far outstrip those of a humble scribe, that to be simplistic and reductive is all we’re left with. For “Rhythm and Blues,” his new two-disc release, Guy has teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge for 21 tracks that emphatically drive home the fact that Guy’s talents have not diminished with age. The 76-year-old Chicago blues man makes some interesting decisions throughout the two discs. The “Rhythm” disc features a duet with Kid Rock, as the pair covers “Messin’ With the Kid,” and the “Blues” disc has Guy sitting down with Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith on “Evil Twin.” Throughout the album, Guy’s otherworldly talent and Hambridge’s flair for songwriting make “Rhythm and Blues” one of Guy’s strongest albums in years. CV

 

cd marcatoMarcato

“Artifact”

Independent

Des Moines indie rock outfit Marcato ran the risk of being overshadowed at its own CD-release party, after booking acts like Cirrus Minor and September to open. That danger was present mainly because Marcato is an act that is solid without being particularly noteworthy in any specific regard. “Artifact,” as an EP, is a perfectly acceptable way to spend 20 minutes of your day. But there’s a lingering feeling of the album being a long foul ball rather than a homerun. It’s a little heavy on the high end of the mix, which leaves the bass and drums sounding a bit washed out and insubstantial. Vocalist Kevin Drew’s work is obviously front-and-center on the album, and he doesn’t disappoint with a voice that’s clear and strong. But something holds the album back from really connecting with the listener on any more than a superficial level. CV

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