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SWEET ‘N’ SALTY – I Done Told Ya (Independent)

This duo consists of Libby Rae Watson from Pascagoula, Mississippi, who was mentored in the blues by the late, great Sam Chatmon, the last surviving member of The Mississippi Sheiks (of 1930’s ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’ fame), and hence the reason behind the opening track, ‘Mr. Sam’s Blues’. Many years ago I recall buying an album of field recordings made by Sam in the 70s, and this is very similar, without being totally imitative – Libby and the other half of the duo, Wes Lee, trade vocal lines on this nicely enthusiastic number. Libby told me that everything on the album is just her and Wes, and there is a lovely vintage sound and feel throughout the album - try Wes’ feature, ‘Won’t Be Worried Long’ (Wes himself is a traditional blues specialist). In fact, strictly speaking, with only six tracks, this is an EP release. ‘Bluesman In My Graveyard’ leans a little more towards Americana, ‘You Don’t Rock My World’ demonstrates a Memphis Jug Band influenced sound, with a lovely vocal by Libby, and ‘Worrying Times’ has Wes’ gritty vocal dealing with global concerns, but treated at a gospel level of “help your neighbour”, and a musical saw adding a very effective spooky sound to the backing. The closing ‘Big Joe’ is a wonderful spoken and sung recollection of how Libby first met legendary bluesman Big Joe Williams. Overall, this CD is lovely, warm blues release, the kind of album that comes along all too rarely these days, and that is most definitely our loss.

Norman Darwen

(www.libbyrae.com) (www.wesleemusic.com)

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July 2018
1
American Aquarium
93 pts.
Things Change
New West
BK,TJ,JB
2
Gretchen Peters
56 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
ML,GF
3
Patrick Sweany
51 pts.
Ancient Noise
Nine Mile Records
FC,RK,BM,CVL,TK
4
Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore
47 pts.
Downey To Lubbock
Yep Roc
SP,JBO,JJC
5
Melissa Carper & Rebecca Patek
34 pts.
Brand New Old-Time Songs
Independent
 
6
Ry Cooder
33 pts.
The Prodigal Son
Perro Verde Records
DH
7
Jenny van West
32 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
RST,NC
8
Brooks Williams
30 pts.
Lucky Star
Red Guitar Blue Music
 
9
Levi Parham
29 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
 
10
I See Hawks in LA
26 pts.
Live and Never Learn
Western Seed Records
WR
11
Rory Block
25 pts.
A Woman's Soul
Stoneyplain Records
MB,AL
12
Phil Cook
24 pts.
People Are My Drug
Thirty Tigers
LK,JD
13
Mike Aiken
23 pts.
Wayward Troubadour
Northwind Records
BP
14
Karen Jonas
22 pts.
Butter
Independent
HVB
15
Buckley
21 pts.
Las Cruzes
Rum Bar Records
 
 
John Prine
21 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
 
17
Neko Case
20 pts.
Hell-on
Anti Epitha
MW
 
Sam Lewis
20 pts.
Loversity
Loversity Records
HDB
 
Verbraak Van Bijnen
20 pts.
Endless Road
CRS
HH,TV
20
Jesse Dayton
19 pts.
The Outsider
Blue Elan
LM,SZ
21
Dieter van der Westen Band
18 pts.
Me and You
Independent
 
 
Hadley McCall Thackston
18 pts.
Hadley McCall Thackston
Wolfe Island Records
CRS
 
Willie Nelson
18 pts.
Last Man Standing
Legacy
 
24
Carter Sampson
17 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
 
Tami Neilson
17 pts.
SassaFrass!
Outside Music

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