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Review Date: January 2009
by Norman Darwen
Bob Brozman's name should be familiar to anyone with an interest in blues
guitar, especially the National steel variety. For at least the last couple of
decades now he has been at the forefront of the 'guitar virtuoso' camp, though
it should also be noted that he has a warm and convincing singing voice. He is
generally known as a phenomenal slide guitarist with a deep knowledge of, great
love for and incredibly accomplished technique in, many styles of blues and
other world musics, from the Hawaiian islands, Africa, India and tiny Reunion
Island in the Indian Ocean. This excellent and sometimes simply beautiful
release celebrates all these, and pays homage to those older musicians who have
inspired Bob over the years - from the classic Delta blues of Charley Patton,
Tommy Johnson, and Skip James to players in Papua New Guinea and the bouncy
sound of Jamaican ska. This CD - completely solo except for three tracks which
also include drummer Greg Graber - contains both originals and imaginative
reworkings of borrowed numbers from earlier in Bob's career (try 'One Steady
Roll' which Bob originally recorded 21 years previously, this new version is in
the loose 'sega' rhythm of La Reunion); some numbers qualify as straight blues,
others most certainly do not - but each individual performance is unfailingly
interesting and, yes, enthralling, even for those who only want to listen to
some excellent music rather than directly emulate Bob by picking up an
instrument. Mind you, to do that at all convincingly you first of all need the
lifetime of experience, unbounded curiosity and enthusiasm that Bob has... And
it shows - most definitely.
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