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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, April 27, 2016

Earwig Music Company artist: Les Copeland - To Be In Your Company - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, To Be In Your Company, from Les Copeland and it's lively and entertaining. Copeland, Honeyboy Edwards' traveling companion, working partner and student for 15 years, has released his second collection and this one's a doozy. Opening with title track, To Be In Your Company, Copeland sings about his friend, Honeyboy as he lays down a rudimentary Piedmont style pattern on acoustic and soloing over the top on electric guitar. Very nice. Slipping and sliding on acoustic, Borderline tells the story of crossing and being detained in border towns. Stealin' has a certain period styling and a mellow acoustic sound. I particularly like Copeland's vocals on this track with a bit of loose vocal improvisation. Henry Townsend's Why We Love Each Other has a really nice meter, with Cat Wells joining on harmony. Knucklehead is a track about the interplay between Copeland and his wife, Sarah. With his Herb Ellis hollow body tuned to open D, this track has a really unusual acoustic jangle. Cool. Jim Stafford's Swamp Witch is up next with poetic like descriptions. Primarily a folk tune, this is cool expressive track. A simple ballad, Something Nice and Sweet, has a nice melody, expressive lyrics and backing vocals by Sari. Jelly Roll Morton's Whinin' Boy is played pretty straight up and will always bring to mind Hot Tuna's version. A cool blues track, it's easy to appreciate the sensitivity of Copeland's voice. Friend, is a light blues based ditty, about the wife stealer. Copeland's acoustic guitar work on this track are particularly clean and effective. If I Was A Bad Man, has a really gritty feel and traditional slide blues styling. Copeland really slays it on this one so listen up. Bessie is a really sensitive track recounting Honeyboy and his admiration for his wife. Very nice! Gordon Lightfoot's Ribbon of Darkness is a simple modern folk ballad with a sweet melody and articulate guitar interplay with Copeland's vocals. Bob Dylan's Moonshiner has a certain poetic feel to it showing Dylan's strong sense of writing. Copeland keeps his adornment to a minimum giving the song a refreshing feel. Ray Davies' track, Sunny Afternoon is one of my favorite tracks with few variations from the Kinks original. Toned down to a simple acoustic country track how it was likely originally written gives it a warm feel. I'd Be Lonely Too is an upbeat track featuring a duet with Sari and more prominent guitar lead without breaking the simple folk rhythm. Billy Joe Shaver's I'm Just An Old Chunk of Coal has a lot of spring in it's rhythm and Copeland's finger picking technique is tight. Very nice! Slashing slider, Crosstown is driven by a train rhythm. Copeland's vocals have a lot of the old country styling giving the track an authentic old time feel. Wrapping the release is I Dream About You, a snappy country blues track. One final country blues solo shows some smoke and it's done. Very cool release.

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