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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stony Plain Records artist: Rory Block - Avalon - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 4, 2013), Avalon, from Rory Block and it's quite different! This is the 4th CD in Blocks noted "Mentor" series of releases in tribute to blues masters. (Earlier releases included Gary Davis tribute I Belong To The Band, Fred McDowell tribute Shake'em on Down and Son House tribute Blues Walkin' Like A Man). Opening with Everybody Loves John, Block shows her solid finger work and slide playing. This  track works particularly well as arranged by Block capturing Hurts unique style. Next up is Avalon, a cool track which has a smooth silky sound. One of the all time favorites, Candy Man, is next and with it's quick pace. Block nicely articulates the finger work and curious talk during the guitar work. Nice touch. Frankie & Albert has an even more intricate pattern and slide work. Really nice! Got the Blues Can't Be Satisfied has a lazy pace and allows space for very clean picking and guitar ring. It's nice that a selection of styles of Hurt's playing has been featured. It really gives the listener an opportunity to study not only Hurt but Block's unique style. Louis Collins features fat, freight train like sliding and bouncing finger picking. Very nice! Richland Woman Blues is the best use of Block's voice on any of the tracks with a light touch and style. Guitar work is very clean and precise. Spike Driver Blues again has strong thumb work and sparing use of Block's voice more as an instrument. Very nice. Stagolee has a super intro really highlighting Blocks mastery of the instrument. Everyone knows that she's an exceptional player and this track is a good feature of that talent in picking and sliding. Rag track Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor is another of my favorites on the release. Block sings in an understated fashion and her playing is clean and precise. Pay Day is a particularly unique track with blended harmonic voices. This is my favorite of the 4 releases and I'm sure that Block will be rewarded for her faithful efforts.

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Although not in the style of John Hurt, Block in a recent performance.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to think that Rory Block keeps the blues out of the museum and into our hearts. Funny they placed her IN a museum this time. And pity that a microphone is in front of her right hand. Just love to see her play!
    Cheers,

    Jan

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