Michael Packer – I Am the Blues | Album Review

michaelpackercd3Michael Packer – I Am the Blues

Iris Music Group


18 Tracks

Michael Packer has the blues. His life has been filled with adversity, diversity, and controversy. His experiences of being beaten, jailed, involved with drugs and weapons, a street person and a host of troubles large and small certainly qualify to sing the blues as any color of man.

This CD is the story of his life. Filled with narration and songs related to his experiences, we get many glimpses into the life that has been Michael Packer. His history involve a multitude of things that he was imprisoned over. He claims his troubles come from his family, which includes an uncle Al who was a murderer and cannibal. NYC and SF have been his bases of operations and he sings of them, but NYC has been and is his home. Heroin and booze was a big part of his life, but he has now overcome those addictions and other issues to be a blues hall of famer and respected musician. His bands Papa Nebo and Free Beer, his association with Bob Dylan and meeting and losing the love of his life are topics of interest and subjects of his songs. His life on the Bowery was a result of his drinking and we hear about that in both word and song, too.

The songs take on a variety of styles, from blues to 60’s rock to swing to funk and are delivered in groups from the scaled down to the larger and more filled out. Solo acoustic in a Dylan-esque style or with horns and organs and other accompaniment, we hear a variety of approaches and styles. The first 16 tracks are historical original songs and narrations. He finishes up with the traditional “This Train” and “See That My Grave is Kept Clean.” This is not top 40 stuff, it is dirty and gritty and poignant.

This is not a CD to impress a date while listening with over a fancy meal. This is a CD to sit down and listen to and hear how a white got the blues and lived to tell about it. Interesting stuff!

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