Commentaren bij ‘BLUES 2017 – III’

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BLUES 2017 – III. 1/ You Must Believe In Yourself (Robert CRAY/HI RHYTHM, cd Robert Cray/Hi Rhythm) 2/ Gonna Die Tryin’ (Chris O’LEARY, cd Gonna Die Tryin’) 3/ Bad Feeling (MR. SIPP, cd Knock A Hole In It) 4/ That’s What You Do To Me (Richard VAN BERGEN & ROOTBAG, cd Walk On In) 5/ Guilty Pleasures (Selwyn BIRCHWOOD, cd Pick Your Poison) 6/ Way Back Home (JP SOARS, cd Full Moon Night In Memphis) 7/ I Don’t Care (Robert CRAY/HI RHYTHM) 8/ One More Saturday Night (Chris O’LEARY) 9/ Gonna Let Her Go (MR. SIPP) 10/ Rock Me Right (Richard VAN BERGEN & ROOTBAG) 11/ Police State (Selwyn BIRCHWOOD) 12/ Hardcore Blues (TINY LEGS TIM, cd Melodium Rag) 13/ Just How Low (Robert CRAY/HI RHYTHM) 14/ 19 Cents A Day (Chris O’LEARY) 15/ Love Don’t Live Here Anymore (MR. SIPP) 16/ Walk On In (Richard VAN BERGEN & ROOTBAG) 17/ My Whiskey Loves My Ex (Selwyn BIRCHWOOD) 18/ Letters From Home (Chris O’LEARY) OR 18/ After Me (Greg SOVER, cd Songs Of A Renegade) PLUS 19/ We Had To Move (Eric BIBB, cd Migration Blues)

From the start there were two versions of ‘BLUES 2017 – III’, the first with an extra song, a mighty fine blues ballad, by Chris O’Leary. But then I was afraid to overstretch the exposure for the wonderfully crafted ‘Gonna Die Tryin’’ by blues singer/shouter and harpist de luxe O’Leary. Our compilations are subject to a strict rule: they must be in the interest of the artists we put to the fore, and rigorously so. That was reason enough to consider a second version, which gave us the opportunity to promote the CD’s of Greg Sover and Eric Bibb. The second one, ‘Migration Blues’ is not only a great collection of new songs by Bibb (like ‘We Had To Move’ included here) and older ones which more or less line up with the title (there are versions of ‘Masters Of War’ and ‘This Land Is Your Land’) but it’s also, through its message(s), an important one, one that makes you think about vital, complex problems, that involve simple, generally hard working, innocent, minding-their-own-business people, literally like you and me, thrown into the deepest misery for whatever political, economical or natural cause or reason. But by their acoustic nature the songs of ‘Migration Blues’ do not mingle so well with the mostly powerful electric songs on this selection. This CD will no doubt pop up on a future fourth volume, if we ever get to compile one before the year’s end. ‘After Me’ by Greg Sover is a highlight on ‘Songs Of A Renegade’… We already have put it on a the most recent ‘regular’ compilation (with songs from different origin and in wide range of styles, in fact just the latest news) but these generally don’t reach the amateurs of blues compilations. So it’s no overlapping to add this fine song here. Volume III highlights the recent CD’s by Mr. Blues Guitar himself Robert Cray, the aforementioned Chris O’Leary, Mr. Sipp, (pseudo of Castro Coleman), Dutch veteran Richard Van Bergen with Rootbag and coming man Selwyn Birchwood. Reviews can be found on the net. Ours (on Birchwood) is due for publication in Back To The Roots blues magazine (presumably issue 104) With three representative tracks from each, record buyers have already a good idea, though nowadays many CD’s can be heard in full with streaming services. Our experience is that a compilation still has more impact for reasons which would lead us too far to unfold. We have strategically planted tracks by JP Soars and Tiny Legs Tim, both of which we have already presented earlier. But we find they still might benefit of exposure, as these artists made two of the very best blues CD’s of 2017. Of course we tried to give ‘BLUES 2017 – III’ a face. Though there’s surely a fair amount of humour in some of the songs (‘My Whiskey Loves My Ex’ for instance), there’s another remarkable trend surfacing here. Most of the time there’s little political, economical and/or social criticism or protest in blues, but at this moment there are things happening in the States (and elsewhere) that also affect the artists. We didn’t pick the songs on the basis of their social commitment, but it just so happened that some of the tunes surpass the standard heartbreak lyrics. We think of # 11, 13, 14 and 19… This doesn’t prevent them to be great blues songs. We hope you can agree… (AL; 27, resp. 28 09 17; comments 01 10 17)

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