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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, December 17, 2014

Arkansas Street Music artist - Bill Phillippe - Ghosts - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Ghosts, from Bill Phillippe and it's quite true to it's form. Opening with Robert Johnson's classic, Come On In My Kitchen, Phillippe uses an arrangement very similar to Johnson's own with simple accompaniment but with to my ear more of an African influenced guitar style. Very interesting. Father's Lament is a quiet acoustic ballad with a beautiful melody. Broken Cup has a nice 3/4 pace and war vocals with clear acoustic support. One of my favorites, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning, has a modern approach to a classic track. With a much more rudimentary beat and contemporary vocals it has a new appeal to contemporary listeners. Tightrope is a moody ballad with a haunting melody. Big Bill's Dream has an interesting sound with blues like strumming but with subtle hints of western music. Traditional track, Motherless Children, has an entirely different feel with a contemporary feel but with thumb bass and a country blues root. The Ballad Of Blind Willie has a sound of sorrow but with more of a European style of writing, almost like of early sailors. God Don't Never Change has the stern sound of Son House and it's solid single string bass line but with contemporary melodic vocals. In My Time Of Dying has the finger style firmly based in traditional blues again with modern interpretation. Nice job. Son House's own Death Letter gets my closest listen with crisp finger picking and stylistic vocals. Very cool. Wrapping the release is a very nice version of You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond. This is the most traditional interpretation of the blues on the release and a cool selection for the final track.

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