Issue 15-49 December 16, 2021

Cover photo © 2021 Joseph A. Rosen

 In This Issue 

Mark Thompson has our feature interview with Thornetta Davis. We have four Blues reviews for you this week including new music from Rusty Ends Blues Band, Ilana Katz Katz, The Porkroll Project and Adrian Adioetomo.


 Featured Interview – Thornetta Davis 

imageIn any major city that has an active music scene, you will probably hear about one or two “local legends,” singers or musicians who are considered the best around the area, artists who chose to stay close to home for a variety of reasons, so their talents, great as they may be, often don’t get the attention that they deserve from a wider audience.

Fortunately for singer Thornetta Davis, the tide has turned. After several decades of hard work, always keeping the faith, she finally found the path that allowed her to share her rich, potent vocals and crisp songwriting with the world-wide blues community. But it was a long haul.

Davis has always loved to sing. As a little girl, she would sing around the house while dreaming of being a star.

“I wanted to be like the Supremes or some of the other acts I saw on television as a little child. Once I got to high school, I started stepping out, having realized that I didn’t need to audition to join a choir. I just needed to take the class. So that is what got me started singing in front of other people. When the teacher selected me to do a solo, I knew that I wanted to be on stage as solo artist.”

After high school, she joined Jas, a local band that got her some experience, but little in the way of money. She was 19 years old when her daughter was born. Shortly after that, Jas broke up, so Davis helped form a group called Chanteuse, featuring four female vocalists.

“That band allowed me to get more exposure in the Detroit clubs. I was also doing background vocals for people in the studios. Eventually I met a group of guys on the east side of Detroit. They called themselves the Chisel Brothers. I was doing Top 40 R&B at the time. They were a working band playing soul and blues music. They made it clear that they had no interest in doing Top 40 stuff!

“So, I had to go dig into my Mama’s record collection, pulling out stuff that I had listened to as a child. That helped me make up a setlist of songs that I liked to sing. And now, all of a sudden, immediately after I was singing with them, I started getting written about in the city of Detroit. People were writing about this new blues singer. So, in 1987, I became a legitimate blues and soul singer, and the music became part of my life.

“I was a single mom trying to make a living as I raised my daughter. That was the lot I was living. So I embraced the music. I have said that the blues chose me, God chose me to do it. I have been singing blues for thirty years now, mixing in a little R&B, and some rock, because I’m from Detroit and that’s what we do.”

When singer Alberta Adams passed away in 2014, Davis was officially recognized as Detroit’s Queen of the Blues by the Detroit Blues Society, backed by proclamations from the City of Detroit, Wayne County, and the State of Michigan. That designation is further borne out by the thirty-plus Detroit Music Awards she has received over the years. In 2017, she received a Blues Blast Music Award in the Soul Blues Album category for her Honest Woman release. The Blues Foundation has honored her with six nominations for Blues Music Awards, including three in the Soul Blues Female Artist category.

Davis reflects back, “Alberta was one of my mentors. At her last gig, she literally passed the microphone to me. Now I just want to represent my city the way she did.”

Over the years, Davis has also done backing vocals for a number of high profile artists, including several rocking Detroit natives.

“In 1996, I put out my first solo recording, Sunday Morning Music. I was backed by an alternative rock band I had been singing with, Big Chief, from the Detroit area. They were signed to the Sub Pop Records label. So I was in the studio recording for that album, and at that time, Kid Rock was working as a janitor and practically living in the studio. That allowed him the chance to record his stuff for free. He was trying to get his rap thing going. He ended up producing one of the tracks on my album.

“Then, when he blew up, he started asking me to sing on his projects. I sang backing vocals on several of his albums, and while I didn’t tour with him, I joined him for appearances on several national television shows including Jimmy Kimmel, and at the first inaugural ball for President Obama. I didn’t do the tours because I was trying to nurture my own career.

image“When I was with the Chisel Brothers, Bob Seger heard about me. He asked me to come sing with him. I am on two or three of his albums. There was no touring with him either. I was here in Detroit doing my thing. He did take me with him for a David Letterman show appearance and we also performed on The View. It was fun working with both of them.”

Despite all of this recognition, many people in the blues community world-wide were oblivious to the presence of the dynamic vocalist, making her a somewhat well-kept secret.

“Some of that stems from the fact that I was managing myself for many years. I did not have access to a booking agent, and nobody was offering access to a booking agent. I had an album out with the Chisel Brothers in 1990, but we didn’t tour a lot. I did do some touring for the Sunday Morning Music album. But I was getting shows in alternative rock clubs, who didn’t really know what to do with me. Here was a blues singer backed by a alternative rock band. It became strange trying to place me anywhere. But my original song from that album, “Cry,” was used in an episode of the HBO hit show The Sopranos.

“Looking back, that album got me my independence, my freedom to write my own thing. I didn’t call myself a writer while I was with the Chisel Brothers. My creative flow came when I signed with Sub Pop. I had to write, or they were going to drop me from the label. So there wasn’t a lot of touring, but I did go overseas to Europe for the first time. I also did some shows in Canada. But there weren’t many blues clubs booking me. It wasn’t until I released Honest Woman in 2016, some twenty years later, that I was able to do another album of original material.”

In between those records, Davis did release a live album in 2000, Covered Live At The Music Menu, a Detroit venue that she played at on Wednesday nights for seven years. It finds her delivering stellar performances of cover songs that had been a staple of her live shows, garnering the honor of being the “Outstanding Blues Recording” at the 2002 Detroit Music Awards show.

“I’m so thankful I did that one. You can hear the party, the band was hot. But I never submitted it to any radio stations, just sold it at my shows. I didn’t think that cover tunes would be accepted enough outside of Detroit for me to put the cash in to promote it, to get it out radio promoters and all of that other stuff. I did gigs here, toured Michigan, and down to Chicago, stuff that was close to home. Nothing outside the safety zone for awhile.

“I had been performing the original material on Honest Woman for a long time, expecting to get discovered by a label or a producer. I ended up waiting quite some time for what I thought I needed before I finally realized in 2013 that I needed to go on faith, record the album myself, do what I wanted with who I wanted to play on the album. If I had to pay for the album one song at a time, I did it until it was completed. It was released in 2016. Since then, I have been doing a lot more touring, performing all over the world. It is strange how it all came about.”

Unlike many singers from her generation, Davis did not grow up singing in church.

“We didn’t go to church on a regular basis growing up. My Mother went to church and sang in the choir. She was a school girl, got pregnant out of wedlock. They told her that she needed to apologize to the church. My Mother said, no, I don’t need to apologize to you. If anything, I’ll apologize to God! So she had to leave the church. We never went back or belonged to any church growing up. The first church choir that I was a member of happened in 1999 at Renaissance Unity. That helped me grow musically.

“When I got my connection with God, and understood how he had worked throughout my entire life, I started growing creatively, started writing my songs. It gave me the strength that I needed to get the album completed. I lived in fear for a lot of years, not thinking I had the money or the knowledge to do it. It’s all in order. It never felt like it was time for me. But when it was time, I went in, got the album done, and put it out without being scared about it. When you release that fear and step out, that’s when it happens for you.

“So I am still working on it, keeping the faith. It’s taken a long time to get to this point. Just when I feel like giving up, because no matter what, something seems to be trying to block you, I’m ready to hang it up and just sing in the clubs around here, that’s when something happens to remind me that it is not on my time, there is a order to things, like this interview.

image“I was sitting there wondering what I was going to do next with my life when I got the call about doing an interview.

“Covid put up a big roadblock just as things were really moving. We had just been in Europe three times, had solid bookings in Paris and Israel coming up. A lot of stuff overseas were starting to happen. And I was also booked at the South by Southwest festival In Austin, TX. People heard I was coming and were calling me to talk about performing at their function. And I was going to perform at the famous Antone’s club too. All of that got wiped out, leaving us wondering what could have happened. At least SiriusXM has been playing my stuff in heavy rotation. After trying for forty years to get them to play my music, in 2020 they finally hooked a sister up!”

Davis get a chance to play on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues cruise in January 2020, fulfilling a dream before the onslaught of the Covid shutdown. She brought her full band, which includes Carlton Washing ton on guitar, Jim Alfredson on keyboards, Joe Veloz on bass, David Marcaccio on drums, James C. Anderson on percussion, plus Roseann and Rosemere Matthews on backing vocals. Anderson and Davis have been happily married for 13 years.

Another dream that intrigues the singer is getting to work with some of the artists she admires.

“I’d like to get some artists from all over the country on my next record. When these people get done touring, doing their thing, if I can catch them on a hiatus, I’ll go to their town, wherever they are, and record with them. I really dig Fantastic Negrito’s music right now. I like that fact that he is funky and brings truth to his lyrics. I also like War & Treaty, who I believe were in Michigan for awhile. They are inspiring.

“I did a song with the actor Jeff Daniels. Whenever I saw him on TV or in a movie, I would think one of these days I’m going to work with him. One day I get a call from his people asking me if I wanted to work with him on a song. I thought he just wanted me to sing. He actually wanted me to help write the song “I Am America,” which is on his latest album, Alive And Well Enough. I think God has a funny sense of humor. This is how he works if you believe.”

The song struck a chord with many people, including being used in an ad that ran leading up to the runoff election for the two senate seats in Georgia in January.

As for those who inspired Davis over her career, the list goes through a series of stages.

“Motown was it. I would stare at the album covers from the Temptations and Diana Ross & the Supremes. I couldn’t wait to see somebody like that on television. That was my influence as a little girl. As I grew up, trying to learn my own voice, I listened to Phyllis Hyman, Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, Angela Bofill, and Chaka Khan. They were putting out records in my teenage years, when I was starting to step out on stage by myself. Once I started singing with groups after high school, it was the Pointer Sisters and the Jones Girls, who got hot coming out of Detroit. Those were all Top 40 R&B singers.

“When I became a blues singer, I discovered Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, KoKo Taylor, and Sippie Wallace, women who helped form my blues heritage. I wasn’t raised up listening to those women. When I sing, I sing the songs that move my spirit, that express what I am feeling, and what they might have been feeling when they wrote their songs. I also used to sing “Pretty Good Love” and “Candy,” two of my favorite songs by Big Maybelle.”

Davis became a big fan of Bessie Smith. How big, you ask? She once contacted a famed movie producer pleading for him to make a movie about the legendary singer. And of course, Davis knew just the person to take on the Bessie role.

“I have always wanted to play her. I wrote Spike Lee a letter back in the 1990s telling him he should do a movie about her. I sent it to him at his production company, Forty Acres & A Mule. Somebody was nice enough to write this delusional girl back, saying it sounds like a great idea, but we already have somebody here in New York portraying Bessie Smith at a local playhouse or something, so we’ll keep looking for you. So, basically, they told me no. Dang, they shot my thing down. But I still continued to sing her songs, thinking one of these days I am going to play her.

image“A girlfriend of mine starting doing a production here in Detroit of “Satin Doll Revue”. It was originally her doing Billie Holiday. After a couple years, she decided to add a couple of girls doing Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone. But I was always working when she did the show. When I finally got to see it, I thought it was great, but she needed Bessie! Right after the show, she came over to me saying, Thornetta, you’re Bessie. I said, I sure am!

“About a month later, she did another one. I got to sing my songs and get dressed up to look just like Bessie. They wanted to buy me an outfit, but I said no, I’ve already got one. I had the clothes, jewelry that I made, all of that. It was so much fun. She is doing another one but I won’t be in it. I’ll be in Tennessee with my grand babies. Have to go visit them.”

Another career highlight occurred in 2014 when Davis performed as part of Detroit’s Concert of Colors, an annual free multi-day event that includes music from all over the world.

“I was invited to perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. They hired a conductor, John McLaughlin Williams, who was living in Ann Arbor, right outside Detroit. He wrote all of the charts for all of the songs we did, most of which were my originals. We did several covers of songs I like, including one by Ray Charles, with trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, who played in Ray’s band. We had a choir for a song that me and my daughter did a duet on, one by CeCe Winans and her mother. It was a big production. We had such a wonderful time. They gave me the opportunity, so I had to bring it!

“The thing I treasure the most is singing together with my daughter. She was getting ready to move to Tennessee to start a new job. It was a blessing that we got to do that song. She isn’t a singer, doesn’t want to be a singer. But I know she has the voice. She only uses it in church. She was glad that I asked her to do that with me. I told her it was a church song, so she said OK! It was so cool.”

Bookings are starting to pick up for the singer, but she was not able to discuss some of the upcoming major events prior to the official announcements. But Davis is hoping for better things in the new year.

“Some of these gigs are ones that I have been wanting to perform at for years. One I can mention is the 2022 King Biscuit Blues Festival, opening for the headliner, which would be the Allman Betts Band if they have the same schedule as the last two years we were booked, both of which were canceled. I will be appearing at the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas in September, which was announced recently. I did an East Coast Cape Cod tour last year and they want me back, with a festival, too. Hopefully, more and more will come in.”

Davis hopes that blues fans will keep her in their sights for future performances. She is ready to take command of the stage and continue to dazzle listeners with her powerful vocal style.

“I’ve been doing this for over thirty years. I ain’t going nowhere! I love all of you that have been supporting me – thank you. And if you don’t have the Honest Woman album, then it will be new to you, so get one! And remember, stuff happens when it is supposed to happen. We are going through crazy times. When I wake up every day, I try to remind myself to keep the faith, that trouble don’t last always. That is my mantra.”

For more on Thornetta Davis, check out her website at:

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Mark Thompson lives in Florida, where he is enjoying the sun and retirement. He is the past President of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Blues Society and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Blues Foundation. Music has been a huge part of his life for the past fifty years – just ask his wife!

 Featured Blues Review – 1 of 4

imageRusty Ends Blues Band

Earwig Music – 2021

17 tracks; 51.41 minutes

Rusty Ends is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter based in Kentucky. He is a veteran performer, having made a first record as far back as 1969. Interestingly, this disc has been out before, released in 1996 on Rollin’ & Tumblin’ records, a label that disappeared soon afterwards, as did this album as a consequence. 25 years later Earwig has re-released it, following a chance meeting between Rusty and Earwig boss Michael Frank who liked Rusty’s knowledge and enthusiasm. Rusty grew up listening to blues, rock and roll and country and has always seen these as intermingled: “People going to the honky tonks and the juke joints, it’s the same kind of people. It’s the same kind of experiences. They want to forget their troubles, have a good time”.

The band here is Rusty on guitar and vocals, Dave Zirnheld on bass and B/V’s, Gene Wickliffe on drums and Rod Wurtele on keys; Danny Kelly takes over the drum seat on four cuts, Jim Rosen plays harmonica on five and Gary Hicks (trumpet) and Kelly Bechtloff (sax) play on three. Robbie Bartlett guests on lead vocals on two tracks and adds B/V’s to two more. Rusty wrote all the material.

“What Next?” is a bright shuffle with Jim’s harp to the fore as Rusty wonders what fate will throw at him next: “My baby said she’d love me for evermore, I didn’t know that ‘forever’ meant 1994”. Soulful guitar licks and warm Hammond appear on “Secrets In The Street” and “Blue Shadows” is a slow blues with Robbie’s deep alto and some very nice guitar fills that suit the mood of the song well. Harp features in contrasting styles on the short, bouncy shuffle “I Wanna Know” and “A Man Can’t Understand A Woman” which has a jazzy feel. A rockabilly instrumental “Sinner’s Strut” precedes the first of the tracks with the horns, Rusty’s boast that he is a “High Powered Loving Man” though it’s the rocking piano work that stands out on this one. Rusty’s relaxed guitar work introduces “Something Going Wrong”, a moody blues tune that explores the familiar territory of failing relationships.

“Don’t Call It Love” has a spoken intro and the track rather outstays its welcome at almost twice the length of all other tracks but the return of the horns adds punch to “Heart Stealer” to get things back on track. Robbie’s second lead vocal is on “Broken Dreams For Sale”, aided by some nice harp work over a laid-back, late night tune. “Sloppy Joe Blues” has a soulful feel but it’s an odd title for a song which includes neither the name Joe nor mention of a sandwich in the lyrics!

A chugging rhythm with piano and harp fills is at the center of “I’m Searching” before the horns make their final appearance on “Whips And Chains” which manages to combine smooth, soulful music with lyrics about a girl who “is into pain”! Not often you find bondage featured in the blues! We stay with the soulful style on “One Step Forward” on which Rusty plays some lovely guitar lines, “High Beams” has a rumba rhythm and lyrics that manage to link car headlights with the attributes of a young lady and “The One Wish” is a stately slow song about love: “true love is like fine wine, it keeps getting better, better with time”.

Whilst there is nothing particularly ground-breaking about this album it is a very pleasant listen.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the ‘soul/blues’ category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three ‘Kings’. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.


 Featured Blues Review – 2 of 4 

imageIlana Katz Katz – In My Mind


11 songs, 41 minutes

Ilana Katz Katz is a unique Blueswoman. Start with her instrument of choice: the fiddle. Sometime’s sawed on in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in field hollers and Country Blues, the fiddle is not a common Blues instrument save the brilliant Gatemouth Brown. Then add in Katz Katz’s earnest and clear songwriting, expertly using the form to express love, life lessons, and reflect the hardship and joy of the world. Finally there is Ilana’s voice. Using a flat, at times detached delivery, Katz Katz wraps her lyrics in a truly original style. This is a style that has developed and solidified busking in the subway tunnels of Boston and what caught the ear of her mentor, local hero Ronnie Earl. On her newest record In My Mind, Katz Katz fully embodies her original unique Blues, connecting her musical dots between Chicago electric Blues, Appalachian reels and art-house avant garde cool.

In Your Mind is a real deal Blues album. This is in part because of Katz Katz’s real deal talent, but it is amplified by Johnny Burgin and his band – Stephen Dougherty on drums and Chris Matheos on bass. Rockin’ Johnny, as he used to be known, is one of the great torch bearers of the West Side sound. Working together while Burgin and company were bunking at Katz Katz’s house for some East Coast gigs in 2018, the group spent a day getting the basic tracks down. Ghost Town Blues Band leader Matt Isbell signed on as producer and he and Katz Katz assembled the music from the Burgin sessions, filling it out with 3 additional bare bones tracks into a cohesive and fully realized piece.

The result is an at times hard charging, at times introspective subway ride through Katz Katz’s music world. The soulful funk of the title track is a window into the narrator’s internal monologue. It is raucous with guitar fiddle interplay lacing a syncopated thump. “Won’t Pass Me By” is a relentless medium tempo swing in which Burgin pummels us with his hypnotic incessant rhythm guitar while Katz Katz flits over Matheos’ walking bass. Dripping menace, “Downtown with the Devil” struts along while “Ain’t No Why” and “Bad Child” groove and hop respectively.

The three non-band tunes add acoustic counterpoint to the clean electric energy of the other material. “Nine Souls” is a throbbing Bluegrass-esq rundown with Isbell multi-tracking a couple guitars while Katz Katz wails on both fiddle and vocal chords. This song is a depiction of the tragic church shootings in Charleston, SC in 2015. The solo instrumental fiddle workout “Hangman’s Reel,” with tambourine assist from Isbell, transports to a mountain top. The album closer “If” is Katz Katz’s solo multi tracked COVID reflection. Recorded in her closet (I guess the acoustics were good), Katz Katz offers somber clap and stomp catharsis. Wondering if “God was a woman” how would she act, this is a benediction for more peace, compassion and healing.

Ilana Katz Katz is a talented and engaged performer. It takes a lot to busk in the Boston MBTA subway and Katz Katz claims it gives her great joy. Like the seemingly endless flow of commuters and trains, in her music Katz Katz rides the waves of humanity, of human connection. In My Mind is a sparkling artifact of Katz Katz work, clear and honest, a little skewed, unique, and rewarding.

Reviewer Bucky O’Hare is a Bluesman based in Boston who spreads his brand of blues and funk all over New England. Bucky has dedicated himself to experiencing the Blues and learning its history. As a writer, Bucky has been influenced by music critics and social commentators such as Angela Davis, Peter Guralnick, Eric Nisenson, Francis Davis and Henry Louis Gates Jr.


 Featured Blues Review – 3 of 4 

imageThe Porkroll Project – Papa Didn’t Raise Me Right

Roadhouse Redemption Records – 2021

11 tracks; 56.56 minutes

After a decade-long hiatus since their third album The Porkroll Project returns with a solid set of music with blues, southern rock and rock and roll influences. The band is anchored round guitarist Neil ‘Porkroll’ Taylor who is also the main songwriter with eight credits (two with co-writer credits for William Bryan and Ed Young), harp player Buddy Cleveland contributing one song, plus two covers. The rest of the band is Walter Runge on keys, Anthony Pieruccini on bass, John ‘JT’ Thomas on drums and David Renz on sax; Chris Neal (trumpet) and Andrew Whisler (trombone) beef up the horn section on one track. Former band member Paul Matecki handles the vocals on two cuts and Jesse Taylor plays bass on one track. The album was recorded on home turf in Pennsylvania.

The title track makes a great start, Southern Rock with warm Hammond and striking guitar leads as Neil sings of a character growing up in tough circumstances, ending up heading down the dark side of the road, because “Papa Didn’t Raise Me Right”. We are then immediately taken south of the border with a cover of the 1957 Coasters song “Down In Mexico”, written by Leiber & Stoller, a catchy tune with Paul delivering entertaining lyrics like “he wears a red bandana, plays a cool piana”. “Going To The Station” has some excellent piano and sax over a mid-tempo rhythm with a classic blues lyric about jumping “down on the railroad track, ease my troubled mind”, while “Crescent Moon” is a slow blues with breathy sax.

Neil’s comic song “Better You Than Me” is very much in Kipling’s Jungle Book style as monkey, dog and cheetah are involved in tricking each other. The jagged rhythms are echoed in the keyboard work on “Mama Put The Gun Down”, Neil asking Ma to stop shooting up the house, there has to be a less destructive way to get rid of an unwanted guy! Peter Rowan’s “Dancing With The Angels” was originally recorded by New Grass Revival and might best be described as country-gospel, the second song featuring Paul’s vocals. In contrast “Nothin’ Yet” is a tough-sounding tune with menacing lyrics about meeting a stranger “shrouded in mist and smoke”, the harp and torrid guitar solo suiting the feel of the tune well. A bright, upbeat rocker follows, Neil including references to songs like “She Caught The Katy” in the lyrics to “Next Thing Smoking”, which sounds like a plea to his ex to let him know if she tires of her new life, though the final verse reveals that what he really wants is to say that it’s over to her face! The three-man horn section adds considerable heft to “Sentenced To The Blues”, a slow blues written by Buddy whose harp gets a solo feature alongside David’s sax. “A Taste Of Malt Liquor” is Neil’s lively tribute to a favourite drink, a fun tune to close out the album.

There is plenty to enjoy on this one if your tastes range a bit wider than pure blues.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK who enjoys a wide variety of blues and roots music, especially anything in the ‘soul/blues’ category. Favorites include contemporary artists such as Curtis Salgado, Tad Robinson, Albert Castiglia and Doug Deming and classic artists including Bobby Bland, Howling Wolf and the three ‘Kings’. He gets over to the States as often as he can to see live blues.


 Featured Blues Review – 4 of 4 

imageAdrian Adioetomo – Violent Love, Gentle Kill

MySeeds Records

CD: 14 Songs, 59 Minutes

Styles: Drone/Trance Blues, Esoteric Blues, All Original Songs

Over the past year, real life has gotten too real. Maybe that’s why surreal TV programs have gotten so popular. The Ghosts on CBS make us howl with laughter instead of fright, and Stranger Things can’t be any stranger than what we see on the evening news. We need a touch of the ethereal right now, the out-of-this-world, the uncanny valley. Keep this in mind as you consider the latest album from Indonesia’s Adrian Adioetomo, entitled Violent Love, Gentle Kill. Its cover art is eerie. The lyrics to the fourteen original songs are printed in minuscule gray text upon a foggy background. The music is blues, but not the kind Muddy Waters fans would instantly recognize. It’s ever-so-slightly off kilter on most tracks, reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Brother Dege in equal measure. Imagine viewing blues through a kaleidoscope while enjoying your favorite adult beverage or recreational substance. That’s this CD to a T.

Consider the opener: “Burning Blood, Cold Cold Ground.” The intro features clear acoustic guitar against a hazy background of sound, coupled with a muffled drumbeat you can’t quite tap your toes to. The effect is one of quiet confusion, of getting lost on a misty night and wandering back alleys in search of shelter. “Volatile Love” lives up to its name with wicked slide and edgy atmosphere. It reminds me of some of Nirvana’s better offerings. “I Got Worry” fuses American blues with Indonesian trance, and the best and shortest song, “La Pistolera,” is FIRE. Later on comes the hard rocker “I Wanna,” and the catchy closer, “Restless,” will entice boomers and lovers of a more traditional blues sound. It’s a perfect tune for playing air guitar.

In an interview with the Jakarta Post, Adrian revealed the mindset behind this release: “I wanted the album to be picturesque,” he said. “Country rhythms and Americana influences felt like the right tools to conjure images that represent the feelings and thoughts of the songs.” (Click to read more: What kinds of pictures does Adioetomo paint? That’s up to the individual listener, but for me, the vibe is definitely spooky.

Liking this album is not a matter of “liking,” per se, but of being on the same wavelength with the artist – of connecting

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 41 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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