Various Artists

Albuzerxque, Vol. 22

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A viola solo is a haunting way to start things off, it could be a requiem for music critics who have been killed of by regional compilations. Series maestro Mark Weber's cover of "Highway 61 Revisited" is well done, right up there with the Johnny Winter version. Cajun music is next and it's always nice to hear the members of Bayou Seco play a nice waltz from the country & western songbook. Quite a fleeting fragment of poetry from Todd Moore works more as an editing device than an entity itself, leading to a gambling ballad done by Weber with cool horn accompaniment. A pair of Bubbadinos tracks continue the themes running so far, Weber coming up with another good vocal on "Death Don't Have No Mercy" and Dylan getting another ex-Zerx-tion, so to speak, with a cover of "Ballad of a Thin Man." Time to go back to the beginning with the viola mistress again, only according to the numbering this is a solo she played before the one that started the CD, 22nd in a series of Albuzerxque compilations on this label. "Hubclar Number Four" extends the instrumental section with a duo for clarinet and Weber, now banging on tuned hubcaps only moments after banging on Dylan's head. The tenth track is an interesting text recorded over the telephone, in a sense prefacing an ironic if strained country & western performance, "Parallel World." Weber is front and center for three tracks including more Hank Williams prior to another Bayou Seco performance and more of Todd Moore's poetry referencing folk music. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" is another good Dylan choice from the Bubbadinos, and by now only a dunce hasn't noticed some kind of recurring focus on the legendary singer/songwriter in this volume, the series in general never at a loss for sub-contexts with submarine engines. Some listeners may prefer the inevitable free jazz tracks, "On the Air Number One" featuring the undersung tuba man William Roper. Weber's own poetry project underscores the veracity of the preceding subcontext statement, championing Little Walter prior to the subject switching to B.F. Skinner, then back to Dylan again. Memo to self: mail 23rd volume to Igor in the morning.

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