Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Where's the Blues in "Bluesland"

This is more of a cautionary comment than a full review, but the album by Canadian roots artist, Bill Bourne && the Free Radio Band, Bluesland (Linus Entertainment) is according to publicity “an authentic collection of rock, folk and country song, and drenched with sultry electric blues sounds.” Actually the performances here are more in the vein of Bob Dylan-esque country rock starting with the opening “Deep Dark Woods” and actually closing out with a rocking version of Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm.”

Little on this here strikes me as blues with perhaps the exception of “Home” with a Howlin’ Wolf groove. You might enjoy the driving country rock of “Forever Truly Bound,” or “Columbus Stockade Blues,” another country rocker, but to echo the old Wendy’s commercial, “Where’s the Blues?”
The fact that some reviewers up in Canada consider this to be blues simply has me shaking my head and wonder what their conception of Blues is. I have heard about Blues Without Blinkers, but at some point even the most liberal definition of blues has to connect with the African-American origins and roots of the music of which little evidence can be heard on Bluesland.

I received the review copy from a publicist.

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