Blind Lemon Pledge – Goin’ Home | Album Review

Blind Lemon Pledge – Goin’ Home

Ofeh Records

12 songs time – 43:04

Over the years the San Francisco based James Byfield has used the moniker of Blind Lemon Pledge in various configurations. My first inkling of him was in a band under that name. Subsequently he has adapted the name as his own persona as he pursued solo efforts. I previously reviewed one of his solo projects for Blues Blast. This time around it is him on acoustic guitar and vocals with Peter Grenell on upright bass and the occasional vocal assist. The program here consists of older blues covers, a few more recent songs, a few traditional songs and two originals. It’s all done up in fine fashion.

He commits himself well on the classic blues songs such as Muddy Water’s “I Feel Like Going Home”, Tommy Johnson’s “Big Road Blues” and Robert Johnson’s “Love In Vain”. Fenton Robinson’s “Somebody Loan Me A Dime” sounds fresh in its’ acoustic setting as it is usually a platform for an electric guitar workout. His acoustic guitar is assertive nonetheless.

A song most associated with Little Willie John and Peggy Lee, “Fever”, is given its’ due here. Peter Grenell joins in on the vocals on J.J. Cales’s iconic “Crazy Mama”. The traditional “I Know You Rider” from The Grateful Dead’s repertoire receives a sprightly treatment.

The self penned “Sugar Rush” is “Double Entendre’s Are Us” city. The other original “Sweet Celine” is a pleasant little ditty. The almost a cappella “Little Black Train” aside from tambourine and hand claps caps things off on a gospel note.

Mister Pledge surely knows his way around his guitar whether with or without a slide. His spot on energetic vocals bring new life to the familiar and non familiar tunes here. The upbeat vibe is contagious. Let us not forget Peter Grenell helping to anchor it all down. A variety of genres done in a manner that is sure to please. Pick up a winner.

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