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Music Album reviews with Kevin Bryan: March 21, 2022

New releases from Julian Sas, The Pawn Shop Saints and Track Dogs

Julian Sas
Electroacoustic
(Cavalier Recordings)
★★★★

SUPREMELY gifted Dutch bluesman Julian Sas has been plying his trade with style and distinction for the past 20 years or so, drawing his artistic inspiration from the collected works of luminaries such as Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name but a few.

The singer-guitarist’s latest offering, Electroacoustic, is his 11th studio album, recorded at The Van Studios in Spakenburg in the autumn of 2021.

The contents of this excellent two-CD set divide neatly between full band electric tracks and “unplugged” acoustic recordings of the same songs, and the finished product should be required listening for all the discerning music-lovers who’ve been fortunate enough to become acquainted with Sas’s refreshingly visceral brand of music-making over the years.

World On Fire, Devil At The Door and the epic Fallin’ From the Edge of the World are the pick of a compelling bunch.

 

The Pawn Shop Saints
Ride My Galaxy
(Dollyrocker Records)
★★★★

THE latest long-playing creation from New England Americana specialists The Pawn Shop Saints may have been two years in the making, but creative mainstay Jeb Barry and his talented cohorts have done their level best to inject a healthy dose  of rough-hewn spontaneity into the proceedings nonetheless.

Ride My Galaxy is a little more wide-ranging and expansive than its critically acclaimed 2020 predecessor, Ordinary Folks, which spent three months on the Euro American charts, and this eagerly anticipated follow-up should enjoy a similar fate in the near future.

Jeb Barry’s fascination with lost love, wasted lives and disappearing innocence continues to inspire the best of his freshly minted new repertoire, with Diane, Jenny Why? and I’ll Be Missing You Again supplying ideal introductions to  the Massachusetts outfit’s skilfully crafted blend of power pop, punk country and world weary psychedelia.

 

Track Dogs
Where To Now?
(Mondegreen Records)
★★★★

TRACK DOGS are a deliciously eclectic acoustic outfit based in Madrid, with members hailing from England, Ireland and the US of A.

Taking their name from the maintenance teams who go about their business in the dark subterranean depths of New York’s subway system, the four adventurous musicians are firmly established in their adopted Spanish base after recording a string of well-received albums since their formation in 2006.

Their seventh studio set features guest appearances from an assortment of musical guests, including Dervish’s Cathy Jordan as they tackle a batch of freshly minted new songs with the rare blend of introspection and joy which has become Track Dogs’ musical trademark over the years.

Their unusual instrumental line-up features trumpeter Howard Brown in the role occupied in most bands by the guitar as they blend folk, jazz and Americana to excellent effect throughout this stunning collection.

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