15 South Records
Eleven songs with a total running time of 40:33
Any Blues recording that starts out with a song entitled, “Watermelon, BBQ & Beer” captures a Blues lover’s attention quickly. With lyrics like “Watermelon, BBQ and beer – that’s how we keep our cool this time of year…” this reviewer’s radar was up. Having heard this deserved classic Blues tune on The Friend’s of the Blues radio show hosted on Saturday nights by James Walker and Shuffle Shoes (WKCC FM 91.5 or www.wkccradio.org) as well as a few other cuts this reviewer had a preview of this solid recording before being called on to review it.
Duncan Street has a stripped down acoustic approach the Blues here that works quite well. Dave Duncan plays acoustic guitar, Dobro resonator guitar, and “an old Gibson ES125” plus vocals with Stan Street on harmonica, kick drum, cardboard box, hambone, snare drum, saxophone and vocals. Both artists live in the Southern US and the Delta feel on this recording reflects that. Duncan also produced this gem which is all originals except track 5 which is a cover of Muddy’s “I Be’s Troubled”.
“Come To Mississippi” (track 2) starts out with a hypnotic driving rhythm that reminds one of that infectious North Mississippi sound attributed to artists like R. L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, etc. “If you wanna know what the Blues is about then ya gotta make a trip down South…” takes us on a Blues journey to the Delta that we may not want to come back from. In fact Stan Street made his home in Clarksdale, MS where he has an art studio next to The Rock ‘n Blues Museum.
Track 4, “Sharpest Marble In The Drawer” is a straight ahead 12 bar Blues number that takes self-depreciation to a new level. “In this world of uncertainty there is one thing I know fo sho, I’m a natural born lover’s man, and I ain’t the sharpest marble in the drawer…” is brilliant songwriting, which is typical of this recording.
The title track “Baptized by the Blues” (track 7) is a quick tempo story of so many Blues Legends you almost need a scorecard to keep up with them. When that Resonator and harmonica kick in you come to believe these Blues artists were indeed, “…baptized by the Blues.”
“Shakin’ The Bacon Down” has a Delta Moon sound and feel to it. The song makes you want to know exactly what “Shakin’ the bacon down in the house on the edge of town…” means – of course you don’t hafta be the “…sharpest marble in the drawer…” to figure it out.
The closing track, “The Blues Comes In All Colors”, takes on one final journey into the Blues world with a some history thrown in. We even take a little trip into the universe with lyrics like, “… even Martians get ‘em (Blues) no one is immune…” With a some somewhat subdued saxophone doing the lead here this closer works well.
This CD has almost all the bases covered with songs about food, beer, Blues history, Blues future, baptismals, love gone right, love gone bad, joy, sorrow and an invitation to where it all began in Mississippi. This is a solid Blues outing from two masters of the genre and deserves to be in any Blues lover’s collection.