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World Full of Strange
Review Date: October 2007
by Arthur Shuey
The stories go back a long way, and most are true. Before there were blues societies and regular blues venues throughout the Southeast, there was singer/songwriter/guitarist Mojo Collins. When people in the region began thinking about forming blues societies, they inventoried the resources with which they could bring America's music to prospective fans, and the name, “Mojo Collins” headed their resource inventory lists. For many years now, live blues has been easy to find in the Southeast, and Mojo Collins is exploring some other avenues.
“World Full of Strange” is a modern release based on blues based on rock, in sound and attitude somewhat like the classic solo releases of Peter Green and Bob Welch, but with the impressive added facet of Mojo's having played every instrument on the recording. Detached from and beyond the traditional definitions, habits and restrictions of blues form, it puts us in touch with Mojo's past, present and future.
As he's developed his own sound independent of the blues form though always resting easily upon it, he has interwoven warm vocals and a light, refined touch on the strings. He speaks to us as screen actors speak over a movie soundtrack. There are political concerns here, alongside rags, ballads of love lost and found, masterful guitar pieces and big, uptown combo pieces.
Of the many Mojo Collins recordings released over the years, “World Full of Strange” impresses as the most individual and mature. Its freedom from any compulsion to make a statement for a single cause or musical statement allows us to go where Mojo Collins has taken himself, down a road along which we have met him many times, either by seeing his performances or sharing his influences. A great dividend and fascination here is hearing where music itself, the blues and live performance have led a dedicated, gifted professional.
People who seek live music and good, regional performers set themselves up for disappointment, gambling that the acts they go out of their way to meet will be good acts. Those who know Mojo Collins know that he has never been a gamble or a disappointment. Thank you, Mojo Collins, for being a builder of music appreciation we have always been able to rely on and trust, and thank you for “World Full of Strange.”
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