Redbreast Wilson and the Juke Joint Revival are available on iTunes.
by Walter Price
Just as Zeppelin, The Doors, and Stones took what blues masters Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Howlin’ Wolf had founded and transformed it into what would be the blueprints of the harder side of rock n’ roll. Later, punk-metal sounds of CLUTCH, The Picturebooks, Wanton Bishops, and many disciples in between used those steppingstones to go even further.
While all these artists have somewhat twisted the blues or, more precise, Delta Blues in concocting modern representations. It would be a safe theory that going pure bone emulation is far too difficult. So who would go for it? Who would want to take on a task that could be perceived as contrived or hipster nonsense? It would seem that no artist would want the headaches…Unless, you have the skills, understanding, and, more importantly, the respect of those hallowed histories.
One such rare outfit with rooted appreciation is Budapest’s Redbreast Wilson and the Juke Joint Revival. Hungary? I know, there are a number of questions on why one of the most talented modern acts interpreting classic blues would be based in Central Europe. And just how did a bluesman named Sam ‘Redbreast’ Wilson end up in Buda-Pest?
Mysteries that ultimately need no answers when you take into consideration the band’s masterful release ‘Swampside Crawl’. This album is as solid a traditional folk, gospel, and blues collection as anything you’re likely to find this year. Kicking off with the swampy “Why Don’t You Call Me By My Name” and bookended with the biblical “Trouble Will Soon Be Over”. A track popularized by Blind Willie Dixon and becoming a blues artist and Southern church staple.
This ten track collection will find some familiar lyrics, arrangments, and textures but that should be expected. The blues and traditional folk have always utilized what had been laid down before and tweaked and/or built upon. Expanding or retracting, and if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. But you better be damn authentic if you want to enter the field.
Not only does this album forgo tricky of-the-moment revamps and sticks to the proven, Redbreast Wilson and the Juke Joint Revival have legitimacy in check…And the lateral evolution of the blues continues and is in great hands.
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