Record Review with Kevin Bryan

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Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week’s alternative CD releases

Trapper Schoepp - Primetime Illusion (Xtra Mile Recordings). The Milwaukee-based troubadour’s third studio album serves up a generous helping of his slickly crafted musings on the human condition alongside a genuine treasure in the shape of the closing cut, Oh,Wisconsin. The lyrics of this heartfelt ode to Trapper’s homestate were penned by no less a luminary than Bob Dylan in 1961 and then seemingly lost for more than half a century before being rediscovered by the great man’s former roommate in 2017 and subsequently set to music by Schoepp, with commendably compelling results.

Eleanor Meynell - Piano Music From Leipzig (Music & Media). This absorbing new keyboard recital from pianist Eleanor Meynell focusses attention on the creative output of several illustrious classical composers who were closely associated with the German city of Leipzig during the 18th and 19th centuries. Works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Grieg are given a welcome airing alongside several interesting pieces by the now largely forgotten Niels Gade, a composer and violinist who was once the principal conductor of the city’s world renowned Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Red Rum Club - Matador (Modern Sky UK). The broad cinematic sweep of Red Rum Club’s eagerly anticipated debut album should help to establish the melodic Merseysiders as a force to be reckoned with in the indie rock stardom stakes, with judicious use of Bunnymen inspired guitar work and Joe Corby’s evocative mariachi trumpet lending added appeal to this highly impressive opener. Calexico, Angeline and the anthemic title track are the best of an atmospheric bunch.

Jason Ringenberg - Stand Tall (Courageous Chicken Music.- The energised performer whose work with the excellent Jason and the Scorchers helped to breathe new life into American roots music during the 80s and 90s has been operating as a solo act for the past 20 years or so, and Stand Tall represents the latest addition to the Illinois-born musician’s illustrious back catalogue.

This crowd funded follow-up to 2004’s Empire Builders supplies a joyous listening experience as it runs the gamut from the expansive instrumental opener, Stand Tall, to the affecting narrative of Jason’s closing cover, Dylan’s Farewell Angelina.