Unrelenting, raw-boned, full of thrusting surges of powerful playing and impassioned vocals The Shovel (vs) The Howling Bones is a chip off the old block. The block I am talking about is the young Lincoln Durham’s mentor, Texas-based singer-songwriter, producer and recording act Ray Wylie Hubbard. And, to cap it all Hubbard and George Reiff produced the record. Enough said.
Merging together blues of Son House, Fred McDowell and Hubbard among others, Durham started out playing fiddle when he was just four years old and moped up such competitions as the Texas State Youth Fiddle Championship when aged only 10.
Intense and ferocious (but not over much so) in his guitar playing he reminds me of the music associated with the North Mississippi Hill Country. As in today’s North Mississippi All-Stars plus of the guys that came before them and there are strong traces of old fashioned Southern Rock plus soul as he eases into his own new classic ‘Trucker’s Love Song’. This is when not only do we have Rick Richards (arguably, the best drummer, percussionist performing Americana music) but the talented Idgy Vaughn help out on harmony vocals and Bukka Allen (accordion) and Derek O’Brien (guitar) as the album bows out on a high. Vaughn also gets into the act on the penultimate track ‘People Of The Land’. A stirring gospel blues track it is an older sounding affair that though, intense it is less bruising than the main body of work where Durham covers every inch with a surging rhythmic beat (just like Ray Wylie does) and as in ‘Love Letters’; a hard driven punchy sound that could be just how John Fogerty would like to sound! No kidding, I believe he would love the chance to do this one.
Durham’s prowess on guitar (he plays, among others a 1929 Gibson HG-22, 1964 Gibson J-45), Wooden Cone Resonator, fiddle and harmonica means he is phased non in the presence of the likes of Jeff Plankenhorn (mandolin), Allen (accordion, Grand piano), O’Brien and RHW (‘Clementine’) and the incredible Richards. Performers of the highest quality to rub shoulders with and keep astride of (which he does).
Like with Hubbard he has to heed the need not to allow his music not to become too one-paced (great though the wall to wall guitar playing may sound) and with the introduction of ‘Clementine’ and the final two cuts plus, the swirling ‘Reckoning Lament’ and ‘Last Red Dawn’ avoided. The latter that speaks of how the morning’s red dawn sky turn black as night has in the festering affair ‘Georgia Lee’ an ideal partner as he sings of an old front porch and wood shack and of how they are going to wallow in the mud and of how she can play ‘Hootchie Coochie Man’ (Willie Dixon). There’s a bunch more like it too.
Be sure to check out his debut tour of the UK in September, October and what a favourable impression I expect him to make.
Tap Root Radio interview and music http://http//flyinshoes.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2554640%3ABl...
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