Local Licks 

This week, we review Ed Reed, the May Fire, Fred Everything, and Andalou.

Ed Reed, The Song Is You. The jazz singer who cut his teeth in San Quentin and Folsom prisons and released his first record at the age of 78 returns a year later with a sturdy sophomore album of smooth, romantic, crooner jazz. What Reed lacks in precision and range he makes up for in tone, depth, and sincerity, especially with the warm Peck Almond Sextet behind him. (Blue Shorts Records)

The May Fire, The List EP. Releasing a series of EPs has its benefits, such as inundating the marketplace with new product and allowing for reinvention with every installment. The drawback, especially for a young band like this, is the splintering of identity. The List sounds great, but doesn't answer the question of what combination of punk, garage, metal, and Latin the May Fire prefers. (Rock Whores Recordings)

Fred Everything, Lost Together. Dancing never goes out of style, only the grooves that get us there. DJ/producer Fred Everything specializes in house music that relies as much on the humanity of soul and funk as it does on cold, electronic beats. He employs vintage sounds to keep the aging house genre fresh. After working the Montreal and London scenes for years, he's now a San Franciscan. (Om Records)

Andalou, Defaults in Design EP. Andalou's five-song debut offers much to recommend it. The San Francisco band's four members certainly know how to play their instruments — namely electric cello, guitar, bass, synth, and drums — and feel their way along tense alt-rock contours with remarkable chemistry and professional polish, especially for a group barely a year old. (self-released)


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