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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Professor Louie

and the Crowmatix – Whispering Pines

Review by Gary Hill

Professor Louie was at one time a member of the band. Some of this album nods to that connection. Still, a lot of the set is perhaps more jazz oriented. This is less prog-like than the previous disc I reviewed from this outfit, but it’s no less potent. This is quite a tasty release and I like it a lot.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Whispering Pines

A jazzy sort of piano based ballad, this is a cool track. In some ways it reminds me a bit of something Elton John might do. That said, there (expectedly) bits of The Band here and more pure jazz on show, too.

Nightime In The Switchin' Yard

I’m a fan of trains, so songs that are “train songs” are cool in my book. This is bit funky and a lot more of a rocker than the opener. It’s very soulful and quite cool.

Between Midnight and Two

Another mellow cut, this is more like a bluesy, jazz based ballad with both male and female vocals (the female ones more as backing). In some ways this reminds me of some of the more soulful of Frank Zappa’s 1970’s output.

I Wouldn't Do It That Way

The female vocals lead this one. It’s a powerhouse cut that’s jazzy with some definite blues and gospel in the mix. The guitar purely screams and there’s some tasty retro organ in the mix, too.

In My Secret Life

My favorite cut on show here, this is very prog-like. It’s basically a jazzy ballad, but there’s a lot going on here and the hook is quite catchy and yet meaty.

The Weight

Here they throw in their rendition of the classic from The Band. This is a live recording and pretty true to the original version.

Ain't No More Cane

A gospel sort of cut this is bluesy and quite down home. It’s also got some definite country in the mix.

Serve Somebody

Here they take on a Bob Dylan song. They throw in a smoking rendition. It’s very soulful.

Forever and Ever

This dittie feels like a slow moving, old school country tune. It’s very retro in its texture. It’s also tasty.

Melody Of Peace
A pretty and poignant powered up ballad, this feels very much like a Christmas song in terms of the lyrics. It’s a good song. I’m just not sure if one of the more rocking pieces wouldn’t have been a better choice to close the set.
 
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