Every Road I Take
The Best of Contemporary Acoustic Blues
In the last few years, it seemed that to get noticed playing the blues, you had to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughn — and many tried, but few came close. Recently, the genre seems to have opened up — the raw, street-cred-cool of Fat Possum artists like R.L Burnside is a breath of welcome whiskey and tobacco-soaked air to the scene. Enjoyable as well is the rise of “wooden blues” — acoustic performers playing the blues the way it was done in the time of Robert Johnson. At the forefront of this movement are Keb Mo’, an excellent singer/guitarist represented here with “Love Blues,” and Alvin Youngblood Hart, who recently did a tour with Son Volt. His “Pony Blues” starts the disc off with a sure hand. Each cut presented here is enjoyable — not something you usually find with compilations. Tab Benoit turns over the vocal mic and guitar duties to Willie Nelson on “Rainy Day Blues,” and the wildman himself, R.L Burnside gives us “Long Haired Doney.” Even unplugged, he sounds like he wants to give somebody a whippin’. No matter if you are a longtime blues fan or someone just interested in music made with passion and depth, this disc gives a good overview of the current acoustic blues scene.
Shanachie Records, 13 Laight St., New York, NY 10013; http://www.shanachie.com