Monday, October 17, 2011

Paul Geremia's Love Murder and Mosquitos

The following review originally appeared in the April 2004 DC Blues Calendar, the DC Blues Society’s newsletter. I had the pleasure of seeing Paul at one of the earliest shows the DC Blues Society was involved with (over twenty years ago) and it was a terrific performance of acoustic blues Paul Geremia was among the folk-blues interpreters of the folk revival and remains one of the finest such artists today. I received my review copy from the record label or a publicist.

Listening to Paul Geremia playing his twelve-string Stella on the opening Meet Me in the Bottom, the opening selection of his new Red House album, Love Murder & Mosquitos, this listener was struck by how much his performance reminded me of Blind Willie McTell, that legendary Georgia master of twelve-string blues. With a career that spans at least four decades, Geremia has earned the recognition of one of the foremost acoustic blues performers alive.

This latest album is another superb effort as he performs his own original renderings of blues recordings from such masters as Charlie Patton, Jesse Thomas, Tampa Red, Mississippi John Hurt and others along with a few distinctive originals. He updates a song or two here including Riley Puckett's (New) Bully of the Town with his updated lyrics protesting the "so-called anti-terrorist legislation which endangers our citizenry by, in effect, making criminals of political dissenters." Even here, he simply the message come out over the course of the performance without hitting the listener on the head with the message.

He is such a good player and singer and receives splendid support on several selections. Paul Geremia is such a wonderful performer who has produced excellent recordings in the past, but this may be as good as any he has done.

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