Music review and promotion in central Indiana and surrounding areas since 2013
I got the blues…mostly because I took a full week to get this review written.
I feel it incumbent upon me to preface with the disclaimer that I have (or perhaps now I can say ‘had’) a limited breadth of knowledge of just exactly what was known as the “Delta Blues”. . It was admittedly due to a need for an education. I think I can now say I have my diploma.
My traditional exposure to the genre consisted mostly of T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, Etta James, B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and of course - John Lee Hooker. Although several of my constituents have already pointed out that J.L.H. was from the Delta, to be fair I was only aware of John Lee from clinging to an early collection of Mr. George Thorogood – ;)
In two words…Traditional Blues. Or…American Blues, Chicago Blues. You get the idea. Long considering myself a well rounded lover of music, I had to step back and re-visit this genre-specific discovery.
Enter, the Delta Blues. The set was led by lead vocal and blues riffster Blind Boy Williamson, who is heavily influenced by one Robert Leroy Johnson, a man who is acknowledged in delta lore.
I picked up immediately on what I consider to be the same basic harmonic structure of the pairing of blues chords and a talented harmonica. A strong presentation of a finger slide/blues rhythm tune holding base. Some stand out favorites were “Another Mule Kicking In Your Stall” (I believe it was the Muddy Waters version…my OWN waters were muddy right about that time if you get my drift - J); and “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show”. And although “Sweet Home Chicago” is considered a blues standard, that doesn’t make it standard blues – certainly not the way Blind Boy and the boys did it.
I’m newly intrigued by this personal discovery of what Blind Boy and the gang have apparently known for many years. Evidenced as well by what appeared to be a traveling and loyal fan base.
Although I didn’t procure the exact meaning of the “CNI” portion of the band, the members are:
Blind Boy (Brad) Williamson – Rhythm guitar and lead vocals
Patrick Williamson – Lead guitar and harmonica
Andy Grant - Bass
Obtuse (Owen) Oldaker – Drums (and an entertaining magic show in between sets)
The set also featured a couple of tunes with Mr. Evan Malone
Tell me how you really feel – ;)