THE IKE REILLY ASSASSINATION
Hard luck stories. Everybody's got them or heard them, but it takes a special mind and wit to share them with the lyrical dexterity and aplomb that have become the hallmarks (and trademarks) of Ike Reilly's critically-lauded records. Reilly's a raconteur; to be sure, his songs ache and explode with a gritty realism to which everyone can relate on some level. His latest solo offering, entitled Hard Luck Stories - a more groove-oriented and melodic album than previous recordings - is a combination of corroded R & B, furious punk-blues, lounge-pop and classic rock, all laced with giant choruses.
Even in light of the melodic assault of Hard Luck Stories, it is the stories themselves that make this Reilly's most accessible recording to date. The tales, while unique to Reilly in the telling, paint a darkly humorous yet accurate picture of the universal compromise and struggle felt by many folks in America right now - people like the frazzled high school kid who's competing for summer jobs and girls with his ex-coach, the compromising single father who loses custody of his little girl as he goes down for growing weed in their home, the young woman doing the best she can for her war veteran brother as he inadvertently terrorizes their community, and the indie rocker trying to sing a song that finally makes a little money. Hard Luck Stories once again establishes Reilly as the premier storyteller, dark humorist and unique character in rock and roll. The lines between reality and fiction, and between narrator and character, have always been blurry with Reilly, but never more so than on Hard Luck Stories.
For such a patently American locale, the Twin Cities have lacked a remarkable group that evokes the American rock canon in a classic manner for a long time. Enter Night Moves. Formed in 2009 by guitarist and vocalist John Pelant, bassist Micky Alfano and multi-instrumentalist Mark Ritsema, Night Moves is a distinctly original concoction. Their honey-dipped sound seethes with a kind of down-home tenderness - and like the best glittering music - the arrangements are colossal in shape. Night Moves’ powerful debut Colored Emotions is this Minneapolis group’s first album.
MUSIKANTO walks the line between Indie-Blues and Urban Americana, while borrowing elements of Experimental Folk and broken-down Orchestral music. The Chicago songwriter grew up listening to his father’s obscure folk and roots rock records and the music of Fraser and Debolt and Jerry Hahn. With a propensity toward heartbreaking ballads and melodic melodrama, MUSIKANTO’s songs survive the bite of a Chicago Winter and the soul of a Midwestern bon-fire.