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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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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Music Maker artist: Carolina Blues and Gospel - Shelton Powe - New Release Review

I just received a copy of Carolina Blues and Gospel, the new release by Shelton Powe. Shelton is a real Blues Man having been raised in a music family and spending a lot of his youth deeply consumed by the blues scene of Atlanta. This 13 track release has the sincerity of early blues recordings having not been tainted my modern technology. Powe plays guitar and harp as well as sings on the tracks. There it is ...stripped down to it's pure nakedness. Powe knows every finger picking accent note and uses this knowledge and feel to effectively sting the bottom of his tunes with just the right amount of juice. The recording opens with Stranger Blues and the finger picking technique along with the choice of guitars is perfect. The effectiveness of properly placed bass accents placed on this particular instrument are excellent. Vestopol, a classic blues instrumental is very well done. Powe has just the touch to deliver the authentic feel of the tune as it was written. Diving Duck Blues is played on slide guitar and Powe's voice is right on for this tune in coordination with the slide echo of the melody. Powe has a strong command of the country slide technique and this again sounds very authentic. One Monkey Don't Stop The Show is a favorite of mine. A traditional song, Powe sings it acapella with field hollers and harmonica. I love it! Down On Me, another traditional tune done with just vocal and harmonica, is very effective. Buckdancer's Choice is strictly instrumental and Powe shows his finger picking acuity. You can easily see how the blues is a blend of European folk tunes and of course the root in Africa. John Henry is played with the melody on slide guitar and Powe echoing the melody on vocals. This is such an honest recording it is a pleasure to listen to. Gypsy Woman is a cool song with vocal over the drone of the bass of this particular instrument (guitar) which has just the perfect acoustic for raw blues. Powe of course plays excellent finger picked melody as well, but it is the sound of the guitar itself that is captivating in some cases. The recording is concluded with This Little Light of Mine, ...Powe doing a number with Drink Small on vocal and guitar. It is a great conclusion to a truly simple and honest blues recording.

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