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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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Friday, April 17, 2020

Omnivore artist: Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus, from Dom Flemons and it's a cool retro mix of country, folk, blues and rag  with great vocal and instrumental tracks. This release is a compilation of the original 2014 release, Prospect Hill along with a never before release on cd, What Got Over which had been released on vinyl and an additional 12 never released instrumental tracks. Disc one, Prospect Hill, opens with springy rag Til' the Seas Run Dry, featuring Flemons on acoustic guitar and lead vocal, Ron Brendle on bass, Kobe Watkins on drums, and Brian Horton on clarinet. Excellent opener. One of my favorite tracks on the release is But They Got it Fixed Right On, with Pura Fe Cresioni on harmony vocals, Guy Davis on Mike Seeger's six sting band, and Horton again on clarinet. Super track. Harmonica track, Martching Up to Prospect Hill features Flemons on rhythm bones with Davis on harmonica. Excellent! It's A Good Thing is another of my favorites on the release with Flemons on vocal and guitar and a somewhat elongated phrasing on vocal and a nice exchange with Davis on vocal and banjo. Really cool. Wrapping disc one is My Money Never Runs Out, a cool country blues with Flemons on vocal, guitar and banjo. Super closer.

Disc two opens with Big Head Joe's March featuring Flemons on bass drum with Davis on snare with fife. Cool traditional hill country styling. Contemporary styling give Clock On The Wall a broadly recognizable format with Flemons on guitar, harmonica and vocals with Brendle on bass and Watkins on drums. Blind Boy Fuller's Keep On Truckin' gets a mild rework and sung and played as written. Hot Tuna covered this track probably 40 years ago but with more substantial alterations. Cool to hear the vintage styling. Hot Chicken is a great rag with solid vocals and harmonica by Flemons and super guitar work by Davis.  Til The Seas Run Dry has great pace and the violin work by Hunter is terrific with Flemons on banjo and vocals and Davis on harmonica. Tracks 10-21 are a mix of mostly rhythms and fife which is quite interesting. One track that really stands out for me is Georgia Drumbeat with an African flavor featuring rhythmic acoustic guitar, drums and percussion. Wrapping the release is Blue Butterfly, a cleanly picked guitar duet featuring Davis and Flemons. It's a really nice track and an excellent closer. 

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