An amalgam of the different cultures that form their musical landscape,
the evolution of music is perpetrated and advanced through the musical
craftsmanship of artists like Alvin Youngblood Hart. Although based in the
blues, Alvin has never limited his scope of artistic vision to any one
particular idiom. Instead, he pushes, pulls, twists, and remolds the
musical framework of his songs to fit his mood and manipulate the threads of
many different styles into a tapestry of his own design.
"Start With The Soul" is another example of his virtuosity. Alvin weaves
his third album with straight up rock and roll, threads of jazz, ragged
blues, a touch of soul and a little electric country. Through it all he
remains true to himself and doesnít try to conform or mold himself into
someone elseís vision. Instead, he carefully crafts statements of who he
is and what heís thinking about. In "Fightin Hard," he reflects on what
we have to do to survive. In "Manos Arriba," he formulates his frustration
at being categorized by a profile and judged by the same. The eerie aura
of "Electric Eel" is mesmerizing with its haunting anger. He conjures up
the essence of Robert Pete Williamís eclectic acoustic blues in "A Prophetís
Mission," a warning, if not a vision of the future and he ends the album
with a salute to the origins of his deep blues roots. A nasty electric
low-down ragged blues, the signature guitar lick of Tommy Johnsonís raging
from his guitar, calling up the deep blues from way, way down.
"Start From the Soul," by Alvin Youngblood Hart provides a taste of what a
musician is artistically capable of if given the freedom to explore and
record a CD in their own way. He steps out of the shadow of any one
particular formula and explores the musical world at large, creating a mixed
album of various components, yet retaining his individuality. We look
forward to watching his continued growth and exploration as a "life
student" of music.
Produced by the legendary Jim Dickinson.
Hannibal Records, Rykodisc, Ryko Palm 4 Columbus Circle 5th Floor, New
York, NY 10019 www.rykodisc.com
Management: TriTone Artist Management, 415.332.7995 ,
Booking: Ted Kurland Associates 617.254.0007 email@example.com
This review is copyright © 2000 by Stephen Davidson, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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