Sunday, October 05, 2008
Garrett's Percy Mayfield Tribute is Nice Effort
Singer-guitarist Amos Garrett latest release is, Get Way Back: A Tribute to Percy Mayfield, an affectionate tribute to the Poet Laureate of the Blues (Stoney Plain). Mayfield has long been a favorite for Garrett and his biggest influence as a singer and Garrett has chosen a nice selection of songs including My Jug and I, Stranger in My Hometown, The Country, River’s Invitation, Ha Ha in the Daytime, and “Lost Mind, among the eleven performances. He has a nice backing band which is a small scaled version of some of the bands that Mayfield recorded with for Tangerine and RCA with. Garrett’s baritone and low-key style is akin to Mayfield’s as well although perhaps it makes comparison with Mayfield harder to avoid compared with the late Johnny Adams, whose magnificent album of Mayfield compositions, Walking on a Tightrope, is arguably the definitive Mayfield tribute album. As amiable and likable as Garrett's renditions here are (and the solid restrained playing is especially praiseworthy), Garrett is simply not Mayfield’s equal (much less Adams' equal) as a vocalist, and his phrasing falls a bit short. There is much to like about this recording, and it is a good effort, but it does not entirely hit its target. sat 7 out of 10 on a ratings scale.