Thursday, September 25, 2003

Disc captures event's spirit

CD review

MPMF 2003


No label; $10

1/2 star

With only 19 cuts, this CD covers less than 10 percent of the acts that, starting tonight, will strut their stuff on the 15 stages of the MidPoint Music Festival.

Even so, the disc manages to cut a pretty wide swath through the various sounds on display through Saturday.

Like the fest itself, most of the tracks stick with melodic rock (Spindle, Brian Lovely, Kevin Fox Band, the jangly, Gin Blossoms sound of Columbus' X-Rated Cowboys; the edgy Go-Go pop of New York's Lava Baby), Americana (New York's Chris Ryan & the Noise, Messerly & Ewing, Fort Worth's Collin Herring, St. Louis' Black Crowes-styled Earl) and some very fine female singer/songwriters.

The best moment for the latter is the back-to-back pairing of the neo-cabaret/folk of Angeleno Clare Muldaur's "Sorry" (with some lovely falsetto swoops) and the languid, sultry phrasing of local singer Kim Taylor.

Then there are the quirky ones, the goofy, funky novelty of Indy's Johnny Socko's "(Expletive) Stole My Hat" the instrumental funk fusion of Baltimore band the Bridge's "Backdoor Betty" and that local font of floetry, Abiyah ("Free Wilde Muse").

It's surprisingly solid compilation, put together by Danny Fisher, the guy behind the old Jammin' on Main discs. The only misstep was leaving out Moth, the local group that's one of the hottest buzz bands on the fest. But for the most part, MPMF 2003 catches a bunch of MidPoint buzz.

Larry Nager

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