"Cold Blooded World" is the second release for the JSP label by Ike Cosse
(pronounced "co-see"). This time around Cosse, who hails from Jackson,
Michigan, does it all on his own, playing guitar and harp, and
singing. Overdubs have been used judiciously so that you get to hear both
instruments and voice simultaneously on several tracks.
The opening track ("That's The Blues") offers a good introduction to
Cosse's solo style. It is pretty raw stuff, nothing flashy here, with
Cosse's guitar work mostly consisting of rhythmic strumming, while his harp
style is a bit like a stripped down version of Jimmy Reed. The song also
helps to highlight the fact that Cosse has a tale to tell. Indeed, the
whole of the album builds on the reputation Cosse established as a fine
songwriter on his previous album ("The Lowdown Throwdown" JSPCD283). He
tackles a wide range of topics, including contemporary issues of gun
ownership (the aforementioned "That's The Blues"), what to do if your
girlfriend turns gay ("Nothing You Can Do Or Say"), and broader issues such
as the question of how strange it must be to a black child growing up in a
city that in all those Western movies all the cowboys seem to be white
("Black Cowboy"). The latter is heavy on the irony, being delivered in a
style that owes something to country and western style (including yodeling!)
The basic driving rhythm guitar and wailing harp of "Bad Decision" make it
the pick of the tracks. It is a very simple tune, which points out that
"Sometimes you gotta pay for the bad decisions in life," regardless of how
big or small the decision is. The ensuing "Black Cowboy" runs it a close
second. The instrumental "Ike's Blues" then leads into the closing country
stylings of "The Truth" which nicely wraps things up.
"Cold Blooded World" is a very good album, containing a selection of fine
songs which are laced with Cosse's wry sense of humour. The sound may be a
bit raw for some tastes, with the nearest comparison probably being Juke
Boy Bonner, but really Cosse is very much an original talent. Even though
Cosse may defy categorization within the blues idiom, "Cold Blooded Album"
is definitely an album that is worth checking out.
If you cannot find "Cold Blooded World" in your favorite record store, the
good people at Red Lick Records (www.redlickrecords.com) will be more than
happy to sell you a copy.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Gordon Baxter, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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