Blind Lemon Pledge And Friends – Backwoods Glance | Album Review

Blind Lemon Pledge And Friends –¬†Backwoods Glance

Ofeh Records

12 songs time-50:56

Blind Lemon Pledge(James Byfield) reverts from a band to a person on this release. By coincidence I have his 2010 release I Would Rather Go Blind. The band was a bit of a “blues light” configuration then. Acoustic guitar and no electrics to be found. This time around he focuses on Americana, what I always called roots music. Quite a departure from his previous effort. The music takes from folk, country, Cajun and a tad of bluegrass. Acoustic guitars once again along with harmonica, dobro, keyboards, bass, fiddle and percussion. The songs mainly consist of meandering reflections of rural life. At times it takes me back to the Hootenanny TV show era.

“Polly Come Out” is a light weight old timey folk diddy. Blind Lemon’s voice is pleasant. “Moon Over Memphis” is a lovely and lilting lament with just the accompaniment of acoustic guitar and lush piano courtesy of Jimi Edwards. Most of the songs are of the similar ilk. Marisa Malvino and her lovely voice makes her only solo vocal turn on “Sisters Of The Coal Mine”, a lament on the plight of the countries coal miners.

“Ma Belle Cherie” takes on a Cajun flavor. The upbeat “Celine” is updated from its’ inclusion on the “I Rather Go Blind” CD. It’s a pleasant enough little diddy.

This CD is a bit too folkie for my taste, but there is no doubting the quality of the instrumentalists with the flowing intertwining of their instruments. The dobro playing of Tom Cline is particularly well done, giving the proceedings a comforting old timey vibe. If you are looking for a change of pace is your listening regiment, this could be just the ticket you are looking for. The production values provide a crystal clear musical palate. Folkies will no doubt find much enjoyment in this CD.

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