I Am Mesmer, Hilary Sloan, Kelly Doyle
Jazz-grass wackos I Am Mesmer, psychedelic bluegrass fiddler Hilary Sloan and Robert Ellis/Three Fantastic guitar-slinger Kelly Doyle all have new CDs/EPs/We-Might-Release-Somethings. Mesmer's full-length sounds like a band of Django Reinhardt gypsies chasing Two Star Symphony down a dark alley, and further confirms that this is one of the oddest ensembles on the fringes of Houston's alt-country scene. Sloan's Angels That Promise the Stars features her Alison Krauss-ish warble and sweet, soft, ultra-clean country arrangements; the big surprise is what a fine songwriter she's become. Doyle's EP, a choppy, psychedelic instrumental disc that sounds as if he has been listening to lots of Sun Ra and Frank Zappa, is certainly the most confusing and least commercial of the three. The guitarist is a master of many styles, and he goes way out there on this one. These three acts alone in one well-wired room should make for a very nice gathering of local talent.
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