Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Review -- AMOS GARRETT -- Get Way Back: A Tribute To Percy Mayfield

GET WAY BACK: A Tribute to Percy Mayfield
Amos Garrett
Stony Plain Records
So what do you get when you mix the veteran baritone voice of a consummate bluesman like Amos Garrett and the lyrics of a famous songwriter like Percy Mayfield?Well that's a simple answer, you get pure blues gold, and one of the truly great Canadian blues albums of 2008.Mayfield may not be as famous as some of his contemporaries, but people called him 'The Poet Laureate of the Blues' for a reason.It is the rich vein of material Mayfield penned which Garrett mines so skillfully here. With a volume of great songs to draw from, Garrett doesn't have to worry about the material, because it's all great. That fact is very freeing for Garrett who is allowed to just sit down at the microphone and concentrate on singing. That is where this guy shines best.Garrett has a rich, thick voice, like honey dripping out of a honey comb. He is relaxed, experienced, confident and smooth. There are simply no weak spots through the 11 chosen Mayfield cuts.Garrett also offers up the lead guitar work. While maybe not recognized among the great blues guitar slings of the modern blues scene, his style fits Mayfield's work perfectly, as does the rest of the back up musicians. The arrangements let the focus be on Mayfield's lyrics and Garrett's voice, and that's just where it should be.Picking a best cut is impossible, but Garrett does offer up as range of emotions here on songs such as My Jug and I, The Country, Stranger In My Own Hometown and To Claim It's Love.This is a must-own blues CD from one of best in Canada, he moved here from the U.S., at age four.Check him out through

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov. 5, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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