Newcastle To New Orleans
2. June 2022 By Walter Price 0

JOE STROUZER Newcastle To New Orleans

Joe Strouzer Newcastle To New Orleans is available on Bandcamp, Tidal, Spotify

Newcastle To New Orleans

by Walter Price

Joe Strouzer is no stranger to living in the past. A scholarly songwriter who has a deep-rooted respect for the blues and New Orleans spiced jazz and folk that came before him. And his debut LP, “Newcastle To New Orleans”, is an 11-track tribute paying homage to the hallowed sounds he unequivocally cherishes. You can feel it deep in your core as each track lays out its tale.

The wandering troubadour’s press release states, “Joe Strouzer sings songs from his travels from Newcastle to New Orleans and a hell of a lot of places in between. His driving guitar playing is coupled with true harmonica voodoo and biting songwriting of modern trouble, heartpains, moonlit trysts, drinking and devilment, peppered with a rich history of blues.”

But a onesheet can only do so much when it comes to an album such as this. There’s an undeniable tactile vibe sewn throughout that has to be lived with for a while. Soaking up its well-traveled lyrics and masterful instrumentation, songs like the opener, “Chicken Song”, reminds the fabled storytelling of Mississippi John Hurt, “St Claude Bridge” moves in the shadows of Skip James, and “Marie’s Bar” has plenty of Woody Guthrie’s DNA in its veins. But these tracks are just a wee sampling for an album that should be experienced from top to bottom.

No disrespect to all the creators of woe is me bedroom-pop, 2-minute garage rock powderkegs, and basement-dwelling laments about all things terrifying…for my money, Joe Strouzer and his “Newcastle To New Orleans” are the genuine article. As storytelling in a song is a near lost art, it’s comforting that artists like Strouzer, Corn Potato String Band, Miss Jackson & the Slap Ya Mama Big Band, and the like are keeping the art form alive and well.

You can stream “Newcastle To New Orleans” in full, here at the GTC and you just may feel the ghosts of St. Anthony Street swaying along…

JOE STROUZER Newcastle To New Orleans

Artist photo by Photograph by Kim Herndon

Joe Strouzer – Singing, Simon & Patrick parlour guitar, Dobro guitar “Willie”, Kay 5 string banjo “Lillie Mae”, harmonica
Joseph Trudgeon – Double bass
Paul Archibald – Drums
Clementine Brown – Fiddle

Recorded and Mixed by Ben Capp at The Island, Bristol
Mastered by Optimum Mastering
St Claude Bridge field recording by Matt Rivers

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“Newcastle To New Orleans is Joe Strouzer’s debut LP charts six years of his journey as a songwriter, steered by his love of blues and folk music, from humble beginnings in Newcastle dive bars, to the muddy banks of the Louisiana bayous and New Orleans’ street corners. These songs tell of love lost and won, friendships grown, putting down roots, hard traveling and finding the way back home.” – bio

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