Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review -- RORY BLOCK -- Shake Em' On Down -- A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell

A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell
Rory Block
Stony Plain

Oh my goodness there are times you just fall into the music of a CD and know you are exactly where you want to be.
The country blues of Rory Block is exactly that sort of album.
I have reviewed other blues disks in recent weeks, but it has been a while since a Stony Plain release crossed the desk. One song into Block's latest effort and I realized just how much I missed the great blues this Canadian recording company regularly releases.
Now in the case of Block a listener should expect nothing but the best. This gal is a veteran of the genre with a discography of some 20+ albums. That sort of longevity speaks volume about any artist's talent.
In this case Block is paying tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell one of those artists who really helped define country blues.
McDowell apparently also helped define a young Block.
"I met Fred McDowell at a time in my life when I was most impressionable, and when the effect would deeply inspire and educate, That experience (along with meeting other surviving country blues masters such as Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Bukka White and Reverend Gary Davis) would become a life-long influence," noted Block on CD.
Thank goodness Block had the opportunity to meet the blues icons because listening to Shake 'em On Down you recognize the blues is exactly where she should be.
A slightly gravelled voice, fine guitar, and a mix of songs from McDowell and Block's own pen all combine to make this a simply amazing disk that any blues fan must have.
McDowell’s numbers include Kokomo Blues, Worried Mind and the title track, while Block offers up new classics in the old style such as Ancestral Home and The Breadline.
The best CD disk I've had the pleasure to review in ages. All I can say is grab this jewel.
Check it out at
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper May 18, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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