Saturday, July 08, 2017

Paul Rishell Swear To Tell The Truth

Paul Rishell Swear To Tell The Truth
Tone Cool / Rounder

Boston area blues artist Paul Rishell works both in an acoustic as well as an electric band vein. Swear To Tell The Truth is his second Tone-Cool album, and like his earlier one features both sides of his blues persona, although the focus is mostly on his acoustic side. 

Guitarist Ronnie Earl and harmonica player Little Annie Raines help out, along with producer Richard Rosenblatt who adds harp to Bukka White’s Shake ‘Em On Down and Drinkin’ Water From a Hollow Log, where Rishell plays a Fred McDowell slide part on the Rolling and Tumbling theme. Rishell’s skill on guitar is quite notable, particularly when he handles East Coast blues as his version of Blind Boy Fuller’s Mamie is exquisite. 

If he can’t make one forget Howling Wolf with Somebody in My Home, Ronnie Earl’s striking electric guitar on Earl Hooker’s Swear To Tell the Truth is first rate. Perhaps the finest track is his rearrangement of Charlie Patton’s Some of These Days, which Rishell aptly describes as ‘wistful.’ His fingerpicking guitar is delightful, with Michigan River Blues showcasing his clean picking. 

A very well conceived and produced collection.

I likely received a review copy from Rounder Records. This review appeared in the September 1994 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 1994). Here from two decades later, Paul Rishell and Annie Raines perform "Some of These Days."


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