Shelton Powe | Album Review

Shelton Powe

Music Naker Foundation

14 tracks

Shelton Powe grew up listening to music while surrounded by gifted musicians but never did much himself until his parents passed away in the 1980s. He picked up a guitar in tribute to his mother and began learning the music of his youth. Born in 1957 to a devout Baptist family, hs Gospel roots run deep. He hooked up wit Music Maker in 1997 and wound up recording Carolina Blues and Gospel. His Piedmont blues style is authentic and cool and his new self-titled solo acoustic release is powerful and well done.

He gets things rolling with the free wheeling cut “Amtrak Train,” with some nice finger-picking and down home vocals. “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” is an up tempo traditional piece about a having the blues; the guitar contrasts with he lyrics, lifting the listener despite Powe’s blues. Next is “Salt Peanuts,” a cut with dobro about those salty nuts. “Since I Laid My Burden Down” is another nice traditional arrangement. “She Don’t Care About Me (Bit She Love That Cocaine)” is original and it’s a rollicking piece about a woman with issues. The traditional “Give Me Two wings” follows with a somber delivery. “One Dime Blues” is more upbeat and it’s another nice instrumental rearrangement.

“Shake ‘Em On Down” is another nice original dobro piece. Next up is another original “Take A Walk In The Park” where Powe  opens with a long instrumental lead in. The traditional “Where Shall I Be” is next, another well done cover. “What You Gonna Do When Your Trouble Gets Like Mine” follows, another nice original. “Take Me Back” is the final original and it’s another well done song. He concludes with two covers, “Rock Of Ages” and “Railroad Bill,” super sacred and secular pieces. The former is done in a bouncy manner and the latter continues in a similar manner as an instrumental that follows the tempo and form of how he covers “Rock Of Ages.”

All in all, this is a sweet acoustic album with some well done guitar work and solid vocals. This is the 55th release in the Music Maker Listener’s Circle and it afforded Powe the opportunity to deliver some fine originals and traditional arrangements. If you are a Piedmont acoustic blues fan, this one is for you.

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