Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Album Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops, 'Genuine Negro Jig'

Artist: Carolina Chocolate Drops
Title: Genuine Negro Jig

I must’a been living under a rock… In January of this year the Carolina Chocolate Drops (CCD) earned a Grammy Award for their album, ‘Genuine Negro Jig.’ Shortly after winning their Grammy founding member Justin Robinson was replaced by Adam Matta and Hubby Jenkins. The remaining founding members are; Rhiannon Giddens (vocals, banjo, violin) and Dom Flemons (guitar, banjo, vocals). This Durham, North Caroline black string band met through an online community, ‘Black Banjo: Then and Now.’ As a three piece they committed to learning at the knee of 80-something Joe Thompson and his ‘short bow style.’

While an aspect of the blues community is the demand by some to honor the traditional artform, CCD platforms their sound in a pre-electric Piedmont style but updated to a contemporary setting. The result if a wonderful, credible mix of old and new; engaging the listeners of traditional styles yet opening the door to younger, contemporary music fans too. It is simply, brilliant.

Of the albums twelve tracks, half are traditional songs. The band covers Tom Waits, “Trampled Rose.” Singer Rhiannon Giddens echo of Scottish singer Annie Briggs A-Capella version of the British folk

standard ‘Reynadine” is captivating in its depth and simultaneous simplicity. To quote a You-Tube comment, “This is real soul music.” While the album lacks an overt blues track the band relies on Etta Baker, Papa Charlie Jackson, Blu Cantrell, and Ike & Tina Turner for sources. The use of ‘Who Don’t You Do Right’ is credited to ‘Weed Smokers Dream’ by Harlem Hamfats; which many programmers may have recently received on the ‘Rhythm & Blues’ label’s four CD compilation entitled, ‘Rhythm & Blues, 1925 – 1942.

For programmers this album provides a tasty textural break for listeners yet clings to an authentic root in a fashion similar to the explorations of Chris Thomas King, Taj Mahal or Eric Bibb. This album also makes a good transition between an archival acoustic track (Yazoo, Smithsonian, Lomax) and the renderings of a contemporary artist such as Rory Block.

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