Soul Stew Records
What kind of expectation does an album entitled “happy little songs about futility and despair” set? I immediately thought that the artist might not want to have sharp implements around. But it’s not THAT desperate. Bob Eike is a performer who took and hiatus and has been lured back into the biz by Billy Thompson. Born in Texas, he’s played with many a blues star over the years His solo work has an authentic sound with precise and clean guitar and soulful and gritty vocals.
Pictured on the cover is a swan with its’ head under water, appearing as if it is drowning. On back is Bob as a young lad, standing in front of an altar; apparently his first communion photo. Both are kind of humorous. He’s excited about the release; the CD has a quote on the inside cover, “We made Bob come out of his basement and do this..he is back in now…told us to quit bothering him.”
The 10 cuts are all originals and only two exceed three minutes. He’s apparently a terse man of few words and gets his point across quickly. Eike opens with “That’s Just Not Right.” It’s sort of a country tune where he talks about what’s not right in life. He stays on the side of religious commentary with “My God’s Better Than Your God” where he slows down a bit in his approach but stays tongue in cheek. “Had to Leave Louisiana” is the first real blues tune and Eike nails it. Slow, and methodical, Eike really annunciates cool-ly and expresses himself in the gritty vocals. “Lucifer Jesus Jones” tells us it’s all about the way a man wears his name. Slick finger picking here in this one as Eike tells us about his name, the song’s title. “That’s the Way It Goes” is a folky Dylan-esque number and is intriguing.
“My Ovens Broke” is classic blues as Eike bemoans the fact that his oven won’t warm up no more; “the old man in the kitchen can’t get any bakin’ done.” “Ain’t Nobody Here But Me” is more folky blues where Eike again finger picks extraordinarily. In “You Can’t Go Home” is even folk-ier and Eike growls out this story about life. “I Don’t Do Lies” is more down home blues and Eike gives anther good performance. He closes with “Do It By Myself,” more down home blues where he throws in some nice slide.
Eike seems to not be happy with society in his topics and lifestyle and he tells us about it. The work here is very well done. He can finger pick in an outstanding manner and his gutty and gristly vocals complement the music style. This is blues and folk with a nice original flavor. If you have a hankering for some good acoustic solo blues then this might be one to go out and savor.