Got To Keep Movin', Keith B. Brown's latest independent release is a definite breath of fresh air for the blues fan. A Memphis native, Brown is an excellent, though somewhat unknown purveyor of acoustic blues. His debut CD, Walking On Muddy Waters, offered fine interpretations of several Delta blues classics from Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson and other legendary acoustic blues artists. As an abrupt change-of-pace, Got To Keep Movin' offers listeners twelve original songs by Keith B. Brown on guitar and vocals, accompanied by Jason Ricci on harmonica and Mark Telesca on bass. The CD was recorded in Lake Worth, Florida where Brown recently completed a year as the "Artist-In-Residence" at The Bamboo Room, my self-declared favorite blues venue in South Florida (and perhaps the United States).
The songs found on Got To Keep Movin' offer a variety of sounds, always grounded in an acoustic format. Brown's Memphis roots clearly show on "Them Boys From Memphis," offering Brown's recitation of some of the finest blues players to come from the Memphis/Beale Street area. Several songs on the CD clearly exhibit the Memphis-style presented historically by the likes of Bukka White and Furry Lewis, among others. Other songs on the CD provide more of a Mississippi Delta feeling on par with Brown's previous recording, Walking On Muddy Waters. Through the CD other musical styles are also offered, including some Piedmont and Chicago influenced material.
The CD opens with an excellent up tempo song entitled "Down The Line" that includes some excellent acoustic slide guitar by Brown and jumping harp from Jason Ricci. "All The Wrong Moves" takes a turn toward the Windy City of Chicago, with a riff that will remind listeners of Muddy Water's classic, "I'm A Man." "The Surface (Jo Jo)" is a lamenting tune, invoking a pure blues feeling as it talks about a man named Jo Jo who kills his wife and himself. The twist occurs as the neighbors report Jo Jo to be a "quiet family man," the typical response to the surface perception of many people have of alleged killers. "Got To Keep Moving II" floats more along the classic Memphis blues lines set by men like Bukka White. This is reprised later on the CD with "Got To Keep Moving I."
One of my favorite songs on Got To Keep Movin' is "Them Boys From Memphis," a song that talks about the legacy of the blues in the City of Memphis and the worldwide appeal of the music from that area. The song is just under three minutes long, far too short for me, but very informative for the listener. "Back Luck Child" offers more of Brown's entertaining slide guitar work, this time with a Memphis blues feel. "Cold Fever" is more of a traditional Delta blues tune, including more haunting harp work by Jason Ricci. The CD concludes with the chanting sound of "Tell Me What You Say," sort of a musical field holler and a nice ending to the CD.
Hopefully, Keith B. Brown will eventually gather a greater following of blues lovers from across the country and world wide. The quality and feeling of the music on Got To Keep Movin' will certainly go a long way to building fan support for this exceptional musician and blues scholar. To order a copy of Got To Keep Movin' or Brown's debut CD, Walking on Muddy Waters, you can contact Keith B. Brown at kb@BluesOnStage.com. Web: www.bluesonstage.com/keithbrown
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, 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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