No Black No White No Blues
Little Dog Records
Based in Los Angeles, Lightnin' Willie has produced an album of original blues songs produced by Pete Anderson (who is on bass and harmonica) with Michael Murphy on piano/organ or Skip Edwards on Hammond B-3/ Accordion among those supporting Willie's vocals and guitars on the ten originals here.
Lightnin Willie's gritty vocals appeal with his low-key, straight-forward, unforced delivery with a slight touch of sandpaper while his guitar playing is clean and fluidly delivered. There is much to enjoy with the band's straight-forward uncluttered backing on these nicely paced blues. This can be heard throughout, whether the slow, doomy "Locked In a Prison" or the walking tempoed "San'N'Blue" that sounds like it should be titled "Sad'N'Blue." There is nice accordion on this and the following "Note on My Door," which has a jazzy feeling. This is followed by the rumba groove on "Heartache." "Phone Stopped Ringing" has guitar playing that partially incorporates Jody Williams' "Lucky Lou."
The playing time may be short (30 minutes) but there is some nice music. Perhaps there is nothing startlingly original on this, but the performances are entertaining, as well as consistently well played and sung.
I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is a video of him performing "Locked In a Prison."