South Louisiana Blues By Smoky Greenwell

September 6, 2017

There’s nothing like a Smoky Greenwell album on a cold Maine night. His brand of southern blues and hot harp work is a cure for any winter evening.

Greenwell’s harp virtuosity is always a blues delight and it dominates his latest album South Louisiana Blues. Backed by a host of New Orleans musicians, he blasts through four original and eight blues tunes.

“Boogie Twist” is a fun-filled romp fueled by his harp play. “Lonesome Lonely Blues” is a laid back poignant piece. “Pick It Up” has a wonderful melody with a hook that will keep bringing you back. The album opening “Animal Angels” is a fusion of rock and blues.

South Louisiana Blues is another solid another album from the mind, hand, and mouth of Smoky Greenwell. It is well-worth a listen of two.

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The Best Of The Dualtone Years By Guy Clark

September 6, 2017

Guy Clark died almost a year ago. His passing took away one of American Music’s greatest troubadours. Best known as a songwriter whose compositions were covered by the cream of country and folk artists; he nevertheless released nearly 20 albums of his own. He had a wonderful capacity to turn thoughts and pictures into words and music and his last studio release, My Picture Of You won a Grammy Award in Best Folk Album Category.

The last label of his long career was Dualtone. His new release, The Best Of The Dualtone Years, draws from his studio albums for the label, plus some live tracks, and adds three unreleased demos, which are combined into an essential Americana two-disc release.

His composition s run the gamut from love songs, “My Favorite Picture Of You,” to romance, “Cornmeal Waltz,” to the expression of his wry sense of humor, “Hemingway’s Whiskey.”

The live tracks get to the heart of who he was as a musician and singer. While I would have preferred to have the five live tracks together rather than interspersed throughout the album, they present some of his most famous compositions in a very personal way. “L.A. Freeway” and “Dublin Blues” helped to define what Americana music is all about and “Homegrown Tomatoes” and “The Cape”  are examples of how he viewed the world around him.

The unreleased demos, “Just To Watch Maria Dance,” “The Last Hobo,” and “Time” are stripped down to basics and present a good example of his writing process.

Guy Clark left behind a catalogue of wonderful glimpses of the world around him. The Best Of The Dualtone Years is a fine introduction to his music and is not only a good release in its own right but will hopefully inspire people to delve deeper into his music.

 


Blue Room By Jon Zeeman

September 6, 2017

Jon Zeeman is a guitarist who has a sound, that once you hear it, is instantly recognizable. He has just released his latest album titled Blue Room. It includes seven original tunes and thee cover songs.

He is basically a blues guitarist who fuses some rock elements into his approach. This is clearest on his interpretation of the Jimi Hendrix song “Still Rainin’ Still Dreamin’ on which he moves effortlessly though a number of styles.

While he has a backing band, the sound moves from sparse to full. This is especially the case when he plays his guitar off the keyboards. Also of note is the late Butch Trucks, whose drumming appears on two tracks, “All I Want Is You” and “Next To You.”

He is an excellent songwriter and is able to create melodic blues. “Talking ‘Bout My Baby,” “If I Could Make You Love Me,” and “Hold On” are good examples of his style. There is also a gritty cover of the Robert Johnson blues classic “Love In Vain,” which is just right for a small smoky bar late at night.

Joe Zeeman has produced a solid album of blues. It is worth a listen or two.