Friday, July 10, 2009

Is this the Future of the Blues? Not Too Bright a Future If You Ask Me!

I must confess that I was not overwhelmed by the initial album by The Homemade Jamz Blues Band and seeing them play live, my impression was not changed much. Well they have a new Northern Blues CD, "I Got Blues For You," which I doubt I will listen to much any more. So what if I am older than their combined ages and they play these cute guitars. I mean at 15 years old, Grace Lee recorded with Lee Konitz and was his musical equal. She sounds like she was playing sax on some classic Blue Note Recordings. Sugar Chile Robinson recorded at a comparable age to these Mississippi teenagers, and made boogie woogie recordings marked by a rhythmic complexity and swing that exceeded his years and stand up today as solid piano blues. Not the case here. It does not help that the rhythms of bassist Kyle Perry and his sister Tara just plod along. The original songs by the trio's father Renaud come across as generic with little to distinguish them. While the oldest of the siblings, Ryan, continues to show promise as a guitarist and a singer, the songs and the accompaniment help prevent his performances from being memorable. I wish I could be encouraging about them, but they need to show more than a mere competence at playing musical instruments and show how they can swing, rock and funk it up, as opposed to merely pounding out a simple groove without any rhythmic nuance.

1 comment:

Gene said...

I could not agree more. It's encouraging to know that there are still folks out there, like you Ron, who are unafraid to point out that "the emporer has no clothes!"

These kids aren't much more than a publicity stunt, with the youngest of them failing to age over the past 3 years. She's still 7, right? Like she was in 2007?

I have a hard time determining which is sadder: the way these kids are being taken advantage of, or the pathetic fawning their performances engender.