Mike Felten – Fast Mikey Blue Eyes | Album Review

Mike Felton – Fast Mikey Blue Eyes

Landfill Records

12 songs time – 56:07

Chicago based roots(Americana) singer-songwriter Mike Felten on this his sixth studio CD may better labeled as a purveyor of “Chicagoana” as mentioned in his promo handout. He talk-sings and/or talks his way through songs inspired by the Windy City. He accompanies himself on acoustic guitar backed by top notch musicians, including Chicago blues stalwarts Corky Siegel on harmonica and Barry Goldberg on piano. Curiously missing is electric guitar that is usually found in music of this sort. The lead positions are taken up by harmonica and keyboards. Mike wrote all but one song for this project.

Corky and Barry both appear on the good timey “Three Drinks In” to lend blues “cred” to the song. Mr. Goldberg returns for some rollicking piano on “Detroit Woman”, along with the tasty harmonica of Harmonica Hinds. A rootsy and upbeat vibe is given to one of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s signature songs “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”. Mike commits himself admirably on acoustic slide guitar as the sole instrument on the melancholy “Chasing A Rumor”. He regales us with tales of a bad area in Chicago called “Homan Avenue”. Bob Long supplies barrelhouse piano on this one.

“Godzilla Jones” is used as another word for a mental depression. Harmonica Hinds flavors this one with his harmonica chops. Mike’s main slide guitar riff on “2302”, about his old address, is pretty much lifted from “I’m A Man”. He expounds on racism on “Y’all Are Guilty”. “Like Listening To Charlie Parker” is a straight ahead stream-of-consciousness talking vamp. It meanders seemingly without a point over a backdrop of electric piano and organ.

What it all amounts to is Mike’s observations and ruminations on life set to rousing musical accompaniment. What the individual thinks about his vocal delivery is a matter of taste. It’s worth a listen to this diary of life experiences.

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