Benjamin Vo – Blueberry & Country Sugar
9 songs time – 44:35
Shades of Peter Green’s guitar tone and haunting exotic tendencies pervade this recording. Guitarist-singer-song writer Benjamin Vo approaches the blues with an obvious rock leaning to achieve a rewarding result. The Pennsylvania based Vo delivers a fresh take on blues and blues-rock. No information is offered on the accompanying musicians as the CD arrived in a plain sleeve with just track listing and that he wrote all songs. Drums, bass and rudimentary piano is evident. Creative musicality is the prevalent device at work here.
An powerful guitar riff on what sounds like a National Steel propels the energetic “Splinter In My Finger, Spider In My Shoe”. Here as elsewhere Benjamin’s vocal is treated to have a bit of a metallic quality to it. “Brown Cow” has electric slide and standard guitar just gloriously shooting to and fro. The lyric is rather repetitive but who cares when the song is so hot. It also includes some nice piano by an unidentified player.
The music to “Devil’s In My Kitchen” borrows very liberally from “Rollin’ And Tumblin'”. The specter of Mr. Peter Green raises its’ head on the slow mesmerizing “It’s Been So Cold” in guitar tone as well as vocal delivery. It’s a very welcome influence that Vo works his magic on so well. He wrings every heart felt note out of his axe. He dusts off the National again in jaunty style on “Oh My My, Pretty Woman”. A hearty bass line, pervasive percussion, the usual guitar goodness and sprightly piano once again visit Peter Green territory on “Blueberry Jam #27” a nifty instrumental workout. Solo acoustic guitar closes out the song, a device that harkens back to the original Fleetwood Mac.
Delicate electric guitars intertwine ala…You guessed it Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac on “Nothing I Can Say”. “Just A Little Country Sugar” is a slow guitar-piano exercise. Why change now while your on to a good thing? Slow dreamy guitar “Mac” style instrumental segues into some heavy-handed guitar rock, then back and back again on “On A Cloud”. Clocking in at just a tad over eight minutes thirty, this slice of magnificence you wish would never end.
Similar to what Robin Trower does with the essence of Jimi Hendrix, Benjamin Vo does here with Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac. He doesn’t imitate, but rather infuses that vibe into his own imaginative vision and to great effect.
Call this music what you will, I call it a thing of musical beauty!