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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Shack Band

America

Review by Gary Hill

This is kind of hard to classify. It has a lot of jazz in the mix, along with jam band sounds and a whole lot more. There is a real progressive rock vibe in some ways, too. This is fun stuff, however you categorize it, though. It’s just a good time from start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Muddy Waters

There is definitely a jazz and world music vibe to this thing. It reminds me of something from Diablo Swing Orchestra in some ways.     

Tip Cup
Funk, jazz, jam band music and world sounds merge on this cool number. 
Mae's Song
Jazz and more merge on this piece. It’s got a bit of a progressive rock leaning to it in some ways.
Waiting
This one lands closer to reggae territory. That said, there are moments that work out toward some definite jazzy prog sounds. There is an instrumental section later in the piece that makes me think of a cross between Pink Floyd and Traffic.  
America
Jazz, rock and more merge on the title track. This is good clean fun.
Maybe It's Me
This is packed full of jazz and has some seriously dramatic moments.   
Made My Day
Now, this definitely has proggy elements. It also reminds me of what you might get if you took something like War and mixed with Traffic and added a little space rock. No matter what you call it, though, this has some of the best music of the whole set. I love this tune.
Meant to Be
This is more of an intricate ballad. It’s not the proggiest thing here, but it does have elements prog in the mix. It’s also one of the highlights of the set.
Rock Bottom
With some reggae in the mix, this definitely moves into rather space rock like territory at points.
Everything I'm Not
A very jazzy tune, this is a mellower one in a lot of ways. 
Took Her Out
A slower moving number, this is very tasty. It has a lot of blues and jazz in the mix. It’s also rather proggy.
Needle in the Hay
Reggae, progressive rock and jazz merge on this rocker. It’s one of my favorites here.
Cafe Diem
This number gets bonus points for the title alone. I can hear a lot of The Allman Brothers on this cut. It’s another strong one. It has some country in the mix, too. It’s definitely a highlight. I really love the piano solo section. The jazz jam after is particularly noteworthy, too.
 
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