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CéU
CéU
Six Degrees Records
15 song CD

 
Do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to the music of Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças, aka Céu. You'll be glad you did, and you can thank me later. Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Céu blends the traditional sounds of her home country with the ultra-modern sounds of contemporary music, and trust me, it is powerful and unforgettable.

Céu takes the samba and bossa nova and collides them with reggae, dub, and electronica in a compelling mix. The music bounces and grooves, slipping around with beats from around the world. Many have tried to make this transition with various forms of Latin music, but few have been as successful as this. It feels natural and not forced, as if this kind of musical collage had been here all along and we never quite noticed it before. Simply gorgeous.


MISH MASH Mandate: Summer Samba
Six Degrees Records Website



Carrie Biell
When Your Feet Hit The Stars
Self-Released
10 song CD

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When Carrie Biell begins to sing, her voice grabs your attention completely. With a slight raspy twang delivered in a half-whisper, Biell commands attention with subtle quirkiness. While it's not a particularly beautiful singing voice, it is striking in its uniqueness.

Biell's music style fits well with her voice, sort of an alt-country sound that is understated and simple. Steel guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass and drums meander along in no hurry, laying down a quiet and steady pace for Biell to paint her melancholy vocal pictures.

MISH MASH Mandate: Melancholy Country
Carrie Biell Website



Tangria Jazz Group
Mebane's Eleven: Tunes For Two
Blastfamous Records
11 Song CD

 

Hailing from the Bay Area with female drummer Sheryl Mebane as its leader, the Tangria Jazz Group bases its sound in classic bebop jazz with a modern twist. The approach is laid-back with a light soul jazz groove, at times reaching towards acid-jazz in rhythmic flavor and attitude.

Mebane is the group's leader/composer, watching over her group with loose reins, allowing them to venture out and experiment within the confines of the classic jazz trio. Bassist Justin Hellman and keyboardist Simon Rochester skillfully play their way through the tunes, interacting with Mebane beautifully throughout the album. The group is tight, and it is obvious that they have found the true spirit of jazz in their midst.

MISH MASH Mandate: In The Groove
Tangria Jazz Trio Website



Action Painters
Chubby Dancer
Self-Released
7 song CD

   

Just when you thought that the days of great, smart-aleck power pop were long gone, the Action Painters have breathed new life into our old and missed friend. This is indie college slacker rock at its finest, complete with sloppy droning guitars and whiny vocals that are mad at everything and nothing at the same time.

The band conjures up everything from the Buzzcocks to Big Star, leaning heavily on attitude all the while. There's a touch of 80s New Wave in the addition of synths, but the main attraction is the ever-present full-tilt guitar. Rock on.

MISH MASH Mandate: Poppy Power
Action Painters Website

 



Gene Butler Band
Concrete Country
Vavv Records
10 song CD

 

The name Concrete Country rings true with this seriously countrified album from the Gene Butler Band. This isn't the slick pop country of the mainstream, this is the classic gritty country you'll find in the dives on the outskirts of a small town.

Butler sings with a gravelly tone, rough around the edges, and thankfully lacking that faux overstated drawl of the Nashville pretty boys. The music is simple and straightforward, falling back on the tried and true progressions and sounds of yesteryear, borrowing just enough from the blues to add a little soul to the mix.

MISH MASH Mandate: Deep Fried Country
Gene Butler Band Website


 
Limbs
Stages
Self-Released
11 song CD

 
Progressive rock meets quirky indie in this brilliant little release from the trio Limbs. The rhythms are adventurous and creatively disjointed, the songs are decidedly unstructured and freeform in nature, and yet the band still swaggers with attitude. The result is a unique sound that fails categorization.


The underlying angst gives the music an edge that removes it one full stop from being purely prog for prog's sake. While the band wanders and meanders outside the pop realm, they do so with an indie rock aggression that keeps everything grounded, without venturing too far into left field.
 

MISH MASH Mandate: Progressively Independent
Limbs Website



Glen Helgeson
Distant Borders Revisited
World View Music
12 song CD

 
Jazz artist/guitarist Glen Helgeson takes us on a world-wide journey through music, following a non-linear path that incorporates a wild mix of styles from every corner of the globe. This is cultural diversity in its truest sense, a melting pot that crosses boundaries of every kind.

African beats meet Latin rhythms and European attitudes as Helgeson incorporates his jazzy guitar lines into a tasty musical soup. Instruments of every persuasion make an appearance -- from violin, sitar, congas, berimbau, mandolin, to djembe, and not always in the places you'd expect. Every song is a wonderful surprise and adventure.

MISH MASH Mandate: Globetrotter
World View Music Website




© 2007 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved
mishmashmusic@hotmail.com

 

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2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved
mishmashmusic@hotmail.com