When most people think of the trajectory of the blues, they think of the axis between the Mississippi Delta and Chicago, by way of Memphis, as connected by The Spirit Of New Orleans. They automatically progress from the country blues of Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt to the electric blues of Muddy Waters and B. B. King. This is a rather reductive, somewhat dismissive viewpoint, as there are a million variations of local flavors.
The Virginia Piedmont was another popular destination for musicians from the Mississippi Delta, leading to the style known as Piedmont Blues, popularized by musicians like Blind Blake and Pink Anderson.
That is not to say that Bone & Co. play Piedmont Blues, it's just to point out that there are a lot more flavors to the blues than most people realize, and that there is a fertile melting pot of deep blues, country, and Appalachian music, which constantly yields interesting and heartfelt results. This is true, pure, unadulterated American music on Bone & Co.’s album entitled Galilee. It is color blind, and appreciative of different cultures. Twangy country blues meets sweet mandolins and gorgeous country close harmonies, that bring to mind deep purple twilights, over the ridge of Appalachian mountains.
This flavor of Americana is much appreciated, as I feel there is a gentility, an emotionality, a sweetness, that comes from country/blues hybrids. Country music seems to spring from a gospel background, where people raise their voices in song, in service of the spirit, of all that is good in the world. This spiritualism, when blended with the energy and ferocity of music from the Delta, is very powerful indeed. The mind, body and spirit link up in a glorious harmony. It is uplifting, in every sense of the word.
Bone & Co. strongly reminds me of Colorado singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov, who evokes a similar mountainous grandeur, as well as the more authentic country blues moments of The White Stripes, like when they cover Son House's "Death Letter Blues.” Anybody that gets off on twanging and slide guitars, harmonica, and thick full country basslines will revel in this short 'n sweet record, which sounds entirely authentic, while not playing at being "old-timey.”
If only all traditional musicians could be so real and heartfelt!
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