Don Scott – Blues And Trouble Album Review

Don Scott – Blues And Trouble

Self-produced CD

13 songs – 52 minutes

Based out of Chatfield, Minn., veteran guitarist and rack harmonica player Don Scott intersperses six originals with seven covers in this collection the old-fashioned way: capturing them over the course of four days on a Teac reel-to-reel recorder.

A disabled Vietnam vet, he was a founding member in 1970 of the long-running Minnesota favorite, Dust Town Blues Band, but has been touring the world for the better part of two decades, delivering music inspired by Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Big Bill Broonzy, Richard “Hacksaw” Harney and others.

Scott has eight albums to his credit, mixing blues, jazz, swing, rock and zydeco, as he does here. A 1997 Minnesota music award winner for best blues recording, he also represented the state in the 2013 International Blues Challenge.

While he’s comfortable working in either band or solo format, Blues And Trouble finds him in partnership with Rochester, N.Y., native Rosanne Licciardi, a blues aficionado, who accompanies Scott on octo-snare cajons and high-hat. Now in her early 70s, she didn’t play percussion until meeting by chance New Orleans keyboard legend James Booker in 2012.

When not working locally, she and Scott have been touring together for the past couple of years, traveling as far as Ireland. They’re accompanied here by pianist Brian Werner and upright bass player Karyn Quinn.

T-Bone Walker’s “Street Walkin’ Woman” opens the action with Don delivering the opening riffs on electric guitar. His tenor vocals swing and bare instance evidence that he’s been practicing his craft for more than 50 years. Rosanne’s rhythm patterns are simple, but serve as a solid complement. Scott uses harp judiciously for Aaron Neville’s “Devil Ride,” kicking off the song with it, then sticking to six-string until the breaks.

An acoustic version of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “I Don’t Want No Woman” follows before the first original, the instrumental “Lazy Walk,” gives Scott space to demonstrate his picking skills. A medley of the familiar “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven” and “Let The Good Times Roll” is up next before a loping, country-blues cover of Junior Parker’s “Mother-In-Law Blues.”

Scott revisits his Vietnam days with “Some Other Day,” which is a bittersweet memory of ribbons on lampposts awaiting troops returning from the rice patties, many of whom came home in body bags. Two more covers – a funky, piano-driven “How Come My Dog Won’t Bark” and Charles Brown’s familiar “Black Night” – sandwich “Cody’s Funky Butt,” another original instrumental, before a trio self-penned tunes — “Sunday Cruisin’,” the previously recorded “8 Days Of Hell” and “Glad To Have These Blues” – bring the set to a close.

This one’s a little difficult to obtain at the moment. It’s interesting and definitely old-school like the recording process. For a copy, I’d suggest contacting the artist directly at the address above.

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