Josh Hyde – Parish Blues
CD: 9 Songs, 30 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues, Mellow Blues, All Original Songs
Are the 1990s a decade you want to remember or forget? If the name Nirvana sends a shiver of revulsion up your spine, don’t worry. There were also gentler, more mellow artists such as the Dave Matthews Band, Matchbox 20, and Eric Clapton in the days of Journeyman (1989, but close enough) and Pilgrim (1998). Louisiana’s Josh Hyde, in offering us Parish Blues, brings the languid, lucid style of twenty years ago back to the forefront. On guitar, he’s top-tier and aiming for god-tier. On songwriting, he’s a promising poet. His vocals take acclimatization and multiple repeats of this CD in your stereo or MP3 player, but, hey. Not everyone thought Dave Matthews sang superbly on “Crash Into Me.” Also, the blues on tap here borders on easy listening. “So Sweet” and “So Long” are so good, and as for the rest? “Where to Start”? At the beginning.
Josh was born in Baton Rouge, LA, spending most of his youth in that city and the Big Easy. He grew up with blues, jazz and zydeco as part of the landscape, not just trendy musical fads that he happened to like. He was barely seven when his family moved to New Orleans for a time. At 11, he wrote “Mississippi Bridge,” a deeply personal song about riding the bus to visit his father every two weeks. As a teenager, he became surrounded by the blues in the Baton Rouge music scene. While playing at Tabby’s Blues Box, he got to meet the Neal Brothers, Tabby Thomas, and Silas Hogan. His Into the Soul album received critical acclaim, including in this venue.
He performs on guitar and vox, along with Jamey Bell on drums, Jimmy Wallace on keyboards, Rockin’ Jake on harmonica, Shawn Stroope on bass, and Derrek Phillips on percussion.
Sonny Landreth has described his guitar style as “funky, atmospheric and soulful.” Not to be outdone, Elmore Magazine praised his “emotive voice, shifting of moods, and melodic touch.”
What about Blues Blast Magazine? As Rainey Wetnight, I cannot speak for every listener or every reviewer. I can say that Sonny and EM are absolutely correct regarding his musicianship. If he maintains his passion while improving his vocal and other technical skills, I guarantee that he’ll be a household name before the decade’s up. He’s certainly got the love and atmosphere for the blues.
Parish Blues brings the longing, mellow side of the 1990s and the genre as a whole back in vogue!