• If you're looking for an heir apparent to PAM BAKER and Maine's female keeper of the blues flame, MEGAN BAYRA might not be a bad pick. Her first record is Raw Era, full of old-time blues standards like "Summertime" and "Thrill Is Gone," along with some rock standards like the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" and the Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See," complete with the flute bit in the intro and the finish. Bayra has a big voice and never seems to have met a vibrato she's didn't embrace, doing her best to eke every last drop out of every line she sings. Backing band of JACK FOSSETT on guitar, MAX KAY on bass, JUSTIN HAVU on keys, and JOSH FOURNIER on drums put together a competent backing, but are largely mixed far enough to the back that it's clear their primary job is to lay a foundation for the vocals. With so many standards and familiar songs, Bayra sets out a tough path for herself, to distinguish them from so many versions heard at weddings and in divey bars. As a demo to show off her potential, the disc mostly works. As a memorable album, less so.
• One-time LARS VEGAS member JEFF PLATZ returns to town January 31 with a new band, JEFF PLATZ'S NUDE SAVIORS, featuring local KIT DEMOS (MYSTIC OUTBOP REVIEW), for a show at SPACE Gallery. If you're not overly worried traditional song structure and sing-alongs, this is a date worth keeping.
: New England Music News
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