Cody Shipley is a young songwriter, guitar player from the Midwest. This
CD is technically a demo CD and pretty much presented as much, with copy
machine graphics and minimal packaging. The music however was all done
in studios in Nashville and Minnesota. They say you can't tell a book by
its cover, and in this case it's true......the quality of the production
is excellent and far exceeds the look. This CD is far better than a lot
of "slick" expensive highly produced ones, that arrive in my mailbox.
You may get the idea that I like this CD and that would be totally
accurate. The style is something that I'm starting to hear more and more
from younger guys. A mix of traditional blues, solid slide guitar, a bit
of rock and roll attitude and assembled with respect for the old blues
styles. Ten of the eleven songs on this CD were written by Cody Shipley
except for 'John The Revelator' originally done by Son House. Vocally,
Cody Shipley has a very good sound, with just enough grit to sound "old"
and experienced. Style wise, Musically and vocally he seems to be going
out in his own direction without being a blatant copy of someone else.
The CD opens up with the Son House song 'John The Revelator', and it
sets an almost gospel tone to start off with before getting into a
boogie feel. 'Throwing Fuel To The Fire' kicks off with a honky tonk
piano and has a swing feel to it. Acoustic slide guitar is used to
accent the main piano backing to great effect. 'Homeless Man' gets into
a funky feel with horns and electric guitar. 'Good Day to Die' uses
electric slide guitar with a heavy medium tempo boogie feel to it. I've
really begun to appreciate electric slide guitar lately. I believe that
it's a great sound that's starting to be seen more and more in blues
bands. 'Holding On' is an acoustic number which has a relaxed laid back
sound to it. Not quite in James Taylor territory but not forced at all.
'Best Friends Wife' is a rockin' song with lots of slide guitar,
harmonica and rock beat. This is a kick assed song and one to get people
up and dancing. 'I Will Be Your Man' leans towards Texas blues territory
with a shuffle and plenty of strat type sounds. 'Going Down To
Clarksdale' is just what you would expect from the title. Rockin blues
with a solid slide guitar backing. 'Land of The Blind' is a mix of Texas
blues and 'spoolful' beat and works very well. 'Good Day to Die' is
redone at the end of the CD in an acoustic format. The vocals are done
in what sounds like an old recording studio with a low=fi sound.
Bottom Line: With a title like "Official Bootleg," you would expect the
sound to be less than studio quality, however, this CD is excellent
sound wise and song wise. Packaging is straight out of a copy machine,
but the music is as good or better than most "official" releases. As a
demo CD, this rates a five stars out of five. As a bootleg CD, it would
rate five out of five stars. Overall considering the packaging, music
and talent shown, I would give this CD four out of five stars. (He loses
two points for the packaging and gets an extra point for talent) I
really like it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys rockin' roots
influenced blues with great slide guitar work. I've loaned it to several
people to get their reaction and the overall response is "killer CD".
Get on the web site and order your own copy, you shouldn't be
Cody Shipley - all guitars and vocals
Steve Jennings - drums
Chris Winkels - keyboards
John Iden - bass
Craig Wasner - keyboards
Johnny Neel - Keyboards
David Northrup - drum
Randy Coleman - bass
Tim Gonzalez - harmonica
Gaelen Mitchel - percussion
Web site: www.codyshipley.com
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