Thursday, October 18, 2018

Blue & Lonesome Duo Pacing the Floor

Blue & Lonesome Duo
Pacing the Floor
EllerSoul Records

The Blue & Lonesome Duo is comprised of Richmond's Ronnie Owens on vocals, harmonica and foot drum and Gordon Harrower on vocals and guitar for an unassuming set of informal, stripped down blues performances that perhaps break new ground, but provides some very enjoyable listening. There is a mix of covers and some originals starting with a nice rendition of John Estes "Drop Down Mama" (wrongly credited to Honeyboy Edwards) with a nice vocal by Harrower with Owens providing some dynamic harp. It is followed by a traditionally based original, "Wine Headed Woman," with Owens singing through his harp mike (like Papa Lightfoot) and Harrower providing a strong bass line to anchor the performance.

"Mean Red Spider" is a nice take on a Robert Lockwood song that Muddy Waters covered. Harrower's attractive vocal is more in the vein of Lockwood. It is followed by a rollicking rendition of Jimmy Rogers' "Act Like You Love Me," with Owens playing superbly in the manner of the legendary Big Walter Horton. Another notable track is "Careless Love," with a heartfelt vocal and more fine harp from Owens. The title track is an original, easy rocking blues boogie with Owens upfront and Harrower providing simple, effective backing. There is even a blues duo cover of James Brown's lament "Try Me," along with a nicely rendered covers of Jimmy Rogers' "Out on the Road," and Slim Harpo's recording of "Raining in My Heart." On the latter song the two capture the feeling of Harpo's swamp blues Excello original.

While one would be hard-pressed to call this an essential recording, there is plenty to enjoy on this highly diverting recording.

I received a review copy from Ellersoul.

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