Mr. Bingham was a local Twin City boy for many years playing basically rhythm guitar for various blues bands. After a 6 year retirement, Bob came back to the blues at the age of 42; quickly dissatisfied with bands, he reshaped himself into a solo acoustic performer.
Good move, is all I can say. This is the third CD Bob has released. It starts with a driving Joliet Blues (Memphis Minnie, Joe McCoy), followed closely by a great interpretation of a traditional tune "Goin’ to Louisiana." He is joined on this track by Honeyboy Hickling on harp. The harp accompaniment is exciting throughout all the tracks on which Honeyboy appears.
This album consists of all cover tunes except for one inclusion of an original Bob Bingham tune "I-94 Blues" from his first CD "Alone at Last."
Bob is capable of creating a driving blues beat as he doses out his style. He varies between Lightnin’ Hopkins’ "Coolin’ Board Blues" to Robert Johnson’s "Ramblin’ On My Mind" to his own rendition.
There is no slide guitar as far as I can tell in this or Bob’s other CD’s, and his style his loosely categorized as Piedmont with some Texas flair thrown in for good measure. I’m most impressed with certain moments within this CD when Bob’s playing is almost, well actually IS, transcendental. I find myself being carried away by sheer vintage blues picking at times here and there throughout this album.
The biggest reward of this CD is tune #13, "Big Road Blues," which has some damn right 12-string groovin’ goin’ on.
Bob’s voice is highly reminiscent of Leon Redbone with perhaps a little less Southern accent and some overtones of Gordon Lightfoot (who I am actually thinking of when I listen to this CD).
Anyway, the guitar playing is really pretty good and the songs are catchy. There is one about Daddy’s gettin’ all wet, and my wife bursts into song everytime that track plays. Gettin’ all wet, gettin’ all wet…
Speaking of "gettin’ wet," I don’t think you’ll be taking a bath if you buy this CD. It’s some of the better acoustic stuff I’ve heard in a while, and the 12-string playing is especially refreshing!
This review is copyright © 1999 by "Delta Doc" Roger, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.