brought to you by
Blues On Stage
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet|
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Somebody’s Got To Do It
(Major Label ML016-CD)
Review Date: January 2009
by John Taylor
Well, Bernie’s right … somebody’s got to keep playing heartfelt acoustic blues, the kind orginated by the likes of Mance Lipscomb, Fred McDowell, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Why? Because the music, despite an absence of the relentless beats characteristic of today’s music, retains an undeniable power and potency that continues to resonate today.
This collection, subtitled “Live From Boulevard Music,” presents compelling proof of the music’s relevance. Superbly recorded, Pearl and bassist Michael Barry deliver a stirring set of nine timeless tunes, including his own “Blues For Lightnin’.” True, the lyrics may be a bit dated; few these days would “buy a pony” as a preferred means of transportation down Highway 61. But the sentiment, the urge to chuck it all and go, afflicts us just as much, if not more, in modern times. And Pearl tackles the material with a combination of reverance born of a genuine love for the music, and a lively approach that keeps things thoroughly engaging. Pearl’s fretwork is utterly remarkable, and the intimate recording has a wonderful warmth and ambiance. Vocals are more than adequate though Pearl probably won’t win awards in that particular category.
Pearl has an impressive resume – born into a musical family (his brother opened L.A.’s famed Ash Grove Club), he’s been around for over forty years, leading bands for J. B. Hutto, Koko Taylor, and Freddie King, working with George ‘Harmonica’ Smith, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, and Big Joe Turner, and booking Howlin’ Wolf, Albert Collins, and Albert King for their L.A. debuts. So it’s fair to say the blues are in good hands here – as Pearl himself says, “All the players I knew were concerned that their music be carried on, and in my own way I try to do it.”
Pearl’s doing a fine job indeed of carrying on tradition while ensuring that the music breathes with vigour and vitality. Every note here is delivered with passion, precision, and love … recommended!
"This review is copyright © by the writer and Blues On Stage: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without permission."
Copyright reuse notice: If you would like to reprint or use this review please include the above copyright notice, contained within the quotation marks, PLUS this statement: "Used with permission." Then send an email to Ray at: firstname.lastname@example.org indicating how you are using the review or the website page address it will be appearing on. Thanks!
Buy this CD NOW:
Your purchase through the Amazon.com links at the end of each review, or by simply clicking on the Amazon banner (below) to order this or many other products from Amazon, helps to support this website as well as the featured blues artist.
Click on this banner to get you new low percent credit card:
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! You can help support this blues website by making a contribution (click on the banner below for details).
Or mail a donation to: Ray Stiles % Blues On Stage, PO Box 582983, Mpls, MN 55458. Thanks!
Web Hosting & Design:
CLICK HERE for Web Design SPECIAL, get your own website for just $75.
The most affordable web hosting and design services available. Click Here
to find out how you can host your current site at Blues On Stage, or how I can help you design your own website!
If you would like your CD reviewed, please send TWO (2) copies of your CD to:
Blues On Stage
PO Box 582983
Minneapolis, MN 55458-2983
E-mail Ray Stiles with any questions.