Born in 1950, Michael Packer died of liver cancer on 6th May 2017, shortly after having completed this set as the final part of his musical legacy. He recorded as a member of country/ folk/ rock band Papa Nebo on Atlantic, then with Free beer for Buddah and RCA, then as a well-respected bluesman in the New York area, working frequently with the late Delta blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards.
This is a musically varied set, though strongly rooted in the blues – indeed, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Mr. Packer’ are live tracks with a Windy City blues band, recorded at Buddy Guy’s Legend’s club. There are a also a couple of fine acoustic blues (try ‘Blues For Peace’), a politically-charged rap influenced reworking of Albert King’s Stax classic ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ with ‘Yo Staten Island’ and a deceptively jaunty slice of Americana in ‘Fields Of Sorrow’, a real condemnation of unthinking blues tourism. Then there’s ‘Flash Flame’, a driving modern blues with excellent guitar work by Adam Valk. Michael prefaces each song with short narratives giving each some context. To sum up, a very fine set – Michael will be missed.
Add a Comment