Album: Travellin' With The Blues
Label: Dog House Records
A rarity in this day and age is to find editions of albums / CD's that are deluxe, but that was the first thing that struck me when I picked the CD up from the desk, flipped open the cover and discovered a sixteen page booklet that accompanies the music, a fantastic insight on each track by producer Little Victor with biographies on each of the guest players on the album, Big Jon Atkinson, Carl Sonny Leyland, Charlie Musselwhite, Danny Michel, Jimmy Morello, Kid Andersen, Little Victor and Rusty Zinn. If you are like me and can cast your mind back to the old days when LP's had sleeve notes to read whilst listening to your newly purchased album then you are going to really love that aspect of your purchase here.
Harpdog Brown is a multi award winning artist, a JUNO nominee and the only Canadian to have won the coveted Muddy award, he is the current holder of the maple blues award for ' Best Harmonica Player ' ( he was nominated for three awards ) and on this album you get a real old style electric blues sound that hearkens back to the late 1940'S early 1950's era with tracks sung and played with real authenticity and honesty. A passionate man is at work and wants you at the sermon to facilitate your conversion. You can't go far wrong with the aforementioned guests either and that speaks volumes for the regard they have for this travellin' blues man.
Stand out tracks for me are ' Better Days ' and ' Hard Day Blues ' some may call his style Chicago Blues but I prefer to go with Harpdog's definition of Classic Electric Blues, another real treat is the track ' Moose On The Loose ' with a wonderful duet with Charlie Musselwhite.
Included are a handful of covers on the album from Otis Span’s Chess Records release ' It Must Have Been the Devil ' and there is also Willie Dixon’s ' Bring it on Home ' which was originally done by Sonny Boy Williamson II., this version includes Jimmy Morello on drums, and reaching further back, there is ’ Another Fool Like Me ' and a Muddy Waters track’ ' Hard Days Blues ' and that for me is the best of the bunch.
Key words on describing this album are authenticity, truth and passion, put all three words in a bundle, sprinkle over some fairy dustings of exquisite yet understated playing from the band and you have one mighty fine album that's called ' Travellin' With The Blues ' with a top class vocalist and harmonica player.
Brown is playing all across Canada touring the album in the summer, be sure to go and see him live for a heap of great old school blues.