Nik Kershaw: “Eight”
If you only know Nik Kershaw for “Wouldn’t It Be Good,” or as the guy who tripped onstage at Live Aid, then you’ve missed out on some great albums full of pop perfection. On his eighth studio CD, oddly enough titled “Eight,” we find the anglophile auteur in love and making some of the best crafted love songs since The Beatles (or at least Squeeze.)

Rick Springfield: “Songs For The End Of The World”
The eighties icon has always had a sense of humor about his place in the fabric of music history and celebrity and that shines through in the form of some solid guitar work on his latest disc. This futuristic steampunk inspired album finds Springfield searching for redemption while partying like it’s the end of the world with the wit, style and killer riffs that has kept him in our record collections for over 3 decades.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: “Meat & Bone”
After eight years of silence, the three headed rock and roll monster known as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion rears its fierce head, and belches out a noisy elation. “Meat & Bone” is a non-stop stew of blazing guitars and gospel-singer-on-fire wailing from Spencer himself. The indie rock godhead is here to rule once again, and rule he does.

Larry Graham and Graham Central Station: “Raise Up”
Get the funk outta here! Larry Graham, the legendary bass man behind Sly & The Family Stone and Graham Central Station returns with a funk-tastic CD so joyous it will make you wanna go to church. And so damn funky, it will make your ass sore from all the shaking of it you’ll be doing while listening. Good God!

Ken Stringfellow: “Danzig In The Moonlight”
He’s half of The Posies, one fourth of the reunited Big Star, and he has a PHD (Perfect Harmony Degree) in pop music. If you cut him, he bleeds
lyrical perfection, and sing-along hooks. The term “Power Pop” is too weak to describe his songs. He is Ken Stringfellow, the most interesting man in music. His latest solo outing is amazing, highlight being the accordion laced “You’re The Gold.”


Jimmy LaFave: “Depending On The Distance”
Jimmy LaFave is the reason why you should never judge a book by its cover. If you saw the Austin-based songwriter in an alley you would be scared by this man who looks more like a biker than a master of melody and words. But if you just listened to his voice – like they do on some TV singing show I can’t recall the name of – then you would be transformed by its otherworldly beauty as he wraps it around both original songs (8 on this CD), and covers of everyone from Bob Dylan to John Waite.

Michael McDermott: “Hit Me Back”
“I hit the bottle pretty hard last night. When I woke up this morning the bottle hit back.” So goes the title track, on Michael McDermott’s ultimate ode to hangovers on his latest collection of blue collar tunes. It would be too easy to compare the American singer to Bruce Springsteen. So that’s what we’ll do.

Saga: “20/20”
The Canadian prog rockers are “On The Loose” again, reunited with their original lead singer Michael Sadler for a deeply layered collection of keyboard driven rock. Fans of Marillion, early Genesis and Yes rejoice!