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“Colorblind” Brian Blain|
Overqualified For The Blues
(© NorthernBlues NBM0011)
Review Date: Nov 24, 2008
by Gary Tate
“Colorblind” Brian Blain is a singer/songwriter who always speaks precisely what’s on his mind, and he presents it through some highly affecting tunes, like the baker’s dozen delivered on his latest CD Overqualified For The Blues. His engaging stage personality reflects his wide-ranging interests. The unifying themes throughout much of OFTB are the small challenges posed by ordinary life. They are given wonderful life by wry, perceptive, and gentle observations on topics that run the gamut from the current state of Blues (Blues Is Hurting), to reminiscences of a summer spent long-ago in a house band in Quebec (Terrace Inn), and even the prevalence of boorish behavior by the music media (One More Weasel). There’s even a good-natured riff on the complexities of modern life (Hi-Tech Blues). No More Meetings is quite endearing with its revealing laundry list of meeting-related jargon, obviously dedicated to people who work behind the scenes in Blues Societies and other arts organizations (Brian’s an expert in these matters). It’ll leave you chuckling like a finely honed George Carlin routine. Saab Story is a poignant vignette about a boy, a girl, and a car. It’s been garnering lots of well-deserved airplay. On the occasions when Blain shifts emphasis away from the folksy, easy-going side of the Blues, the results are equally compelling. Sailing is a moving homage to a real life long-lost cousin who died shortly after Brian began communicating with her, followed within months by her husband’s passing too. Enfant Choisi and the universal message of Peace also explore serious themes with poignancy, passion, and sensitivity. There’s an army of collaborators too, most having played with Blain at one time or other over his lengthy career. The overriding impression remains that this is a winning combination: a warm, minimalist sound in unison with “Colorblind” Brian Blain’s low-key, innovative muse that affords everything an intimacy that will tug at those all-important heartstrings.
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