Joe Phelps: "Lead Me On"
WA-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter Kelly Joe
Phelps continues to expand the parameters of modern
blues through his strong commitment to literary songs
and his expressive yet simple guitar stylings. "
"This is the real deal -- Phelps performs with
the full authority and authenticity of the Delta bluest
tradition without ever once sounding like a Folkways
museum piece. There's nothing more to it than the 34-year-old's
raspy, swamp-infused vocals, lapstyle acoustic guitar
played using fingerpicking and slide, and self-accompanied
stomp-box percussion. For the six originals and seven
gospel and prewar blues selections on offer here, it's
more than enough. File alongside the likes of Ben Harper
and Keb' Mo'. "
Rush: "Right Place, Wrong Time"
recording session was not released until five years after
it was done. One can imagine the tapes practically smoldering
in their cases, the music is so hot. Sorry, there is nothing
"wrong" about this blues album at all. Otis
Rush was a great blues expander, a man whose guitar playing
was in every molecule pure blues. On his solos on this
album he strips the idea of the blues down to very simple
gestures (i.e., a bent string, but bent in such a subtle
way that the seasoned blues listener will be surprised).
As a performer he opens up the blues form with his chord
progressions and use of horn sections, the latter instrumentation
again added in a wonderfully spare manner, bringing to
mind a master painter working certain parts of a canvas
in order to bring in more light. Blues fans who get tired
of the same old song structures, riff, and rhythms should
be delighted with most of Rush's output, and this one
is among his best. "