|Tim Lothar: "In It For The Ride" (Denmark 2008)|
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| 1. Someday Baby Blues
2. Shake It And Break It
3. In It For The Ride
4. Mississippi Aberdeen
6. I Will Be Home Again
7. Finally Over Now
8. Bad Luck
9. Careless Love
10. Over There
11. Da Boogie
12. Stones In My Passway
It For The Ride
This engaging set of Delta stylings just might be the best acoustic Blues album you’ll buy this year.
Deftly mixing fingerpicking with slide, Lothar creates that rarest of gems: a Blues album that’s deeply traditional yet utterly fresh.
It’s done with such seeming ease that you wonder about the secrets of its charms, yet hesitate to deconstruct something so graceful. But start with this: Lothar is a former drummer, and his guitar playing exhibits a sense of the intricacies, allure and endless possibilities of rhythm.
His singing, mellow and evocative, is never over the top, always in service of the song.
Though he’s Danish, Lothar has deep knowledge of the Blues: He unearths old Delta gems and brightens them with his infectious tempos. But his cover of Robert Johnson’s ‘Stones In My Passway’ is slow and haunting, carried by understated guitar and affecting vocals – an achievement.
And Lothar’s own songwriting is so good you have to read the credits to discover whether a song’s an original or yet another from Sleepy John Estes or Charley Patton.
The best lyrics, Lothar knows, hint rather than bludgeon. “A traveller I am by heart/The wind will lead my way,” he writes. “Please don’t ask me when/But I’ll be home again.”
Another original, ‘Da Boogie’, is a jaunty instrumental ornamented with hammer-ons and trills.
Nothing on the album seems forced, contrived or imitative. Lothar really
is in it for the ride. And we’re lucky to be able to come along.
Using only a 1939 Gibson Kalamazoo acoustic guitar and so we are informed a rusty Dobro and slide we are treated to twelve hugely toe-tappingly enjoyable numbers on this album seven of which are originals the others being affectionate versions of numbers such as; an extremely vibrant rendition of “Careless Love,” and a refreshing performance of Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Pathway.”
The fresh new numbers are so well developed and I should add are played with such convincing style and aplomb that one is not aware that they are new for they seamlessly merge with the other standards so well.
Tim displays his complete understanding of the music by infusing his music with a wonderful authentic rolling and tumbling late twenties, early Prohibition era sound. At some points during the album Tim subtly makes use of his voice to create an air of fragility and perhaps a touch of melancholy so that when it is matched with his dexterous guitar work you are transported back in time.
A very fine album indeed!