brought to you by
Blues On Stage
Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame 2009 "Supportive of the Blues"|
The Blues Foundation's 1999 "Keeping the Blues Alive Award"
Various Artists |
A Tribute to the Legendary Blues Mandolin Man James "Yank" Rachell 1910-1997
(Yanksville Records - yr012708)
Review Date: Nov 2009
by Gordon Baxter
It is hard to believe it is almost 12 years since Yank Rachell died. A musical all rounder, he is probably best known for his mandolin playing, which explains why producer (and mandolin exponent) Michael Butler assembled a tribute CD based in Yank's adopted hometown of Indianapolis. It features a range of musicians (including John Sebastian, Rich DelGrosso, and Mike Seeger) mostly playing songs that Yank wrote or played.
Naturally, the mandolin features very heavily. This does not mean that all the songs sound the same, however, which is testament to the mandolin's versatility as a blues instrument. So you get jaunty numbers like the opening "Texas Tony", "Deep Elam Blues" and Stanley Smith's "Bluesy Little Tune", but you also get some neat twists, like the excellent almost funky version of "Shotgun Blues", and Andra Faye's (Saffire) elegantly simple, stripped back "My Baby's Gone". There is even a 21st Century twist too, with Jean-Louis Mahjun's version of "Cigarette Blues" with its effects and programmed beats. Whilst it seems slightly out of place here, it demonstrates how Rachell's music has really stood the test of time.
Tribute albums are a mixed bag. Fortunately this one falls into the good category, although it might have been nicer as a DVD with more anecdotes like that from John Sebastian. Still, it is all in a good cause, with the net proceeds going to Rachell's family. Sadly this is rather timely, given that Yank's granddaughter Sheena (who sings on two of the tracks) has recently been diagnosed with a rare debilitating chronic lung disease.
"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.