30 March 2014

CHRiS COTTON Watched The Devil Die (originally posted 07/09/07)

@Chris Cotton // CDbaby // Blue Eyed Devils // Alviso Homewreckers // soundcloud // Yellow Dog Records

"...the human word is like an outworn, battered timbal upon which we beat melodies fit for making bears dance when we are trying to move the stars to pity." -Flaubert

Which is my big ol' ham-fisted way of saying when it comes to Real Blues or what The Straight People call blues I ain't so sure I got my homework done enough to know what i'm talkin' about. But Chris Cotton does. 
However,  in the spirit of MY Real Blues (and Mr.Cotton's) to hell with the damned stars and bring on the dancing bears! I just finished listening to Chris Cotton's new CD titled I Watched The Devil Die. I'm awful sorry to say that the best language I could come up with at the final note (without my usual swearing) was WOW! 

You'll be adding your own abundant and imaginative expletives after you hear it for yourself. I'm at least honest enough to admit I know about enough about Piedmont style and other finger pickin' styles to keep my mouth half shut about Mr.Cotton's technical skill. On the other hand, a fellow I work with is versed in that world. His word as nail hit upon head listening to this set was, "Exceptional!"

Most finger-pickin' sorts have sounded high-brow, tight and pretty clean to my mud and woods tuned ears. Mr. Cotton despite his dangerous knowledge makes it roll out and around the ol' dirt road just as natural and rockin' as can be, not forced faux and special. Mr. Cotton covers some of the masters works here. Mr. Willie McTell's Dyin' Crap Shooters Blues, The Mississippi Sheiks' That's it, and of course Mr's Hurt and James with Louis Collins and I'm So Glad. But this man's a fine songwriter too. Six of the twelve here are his and fit quite comfortably up against the old timers. 

Each song sounds like it was played (not performed) at a late night pickin' party among good friends. The song Black Night sticks out for the help and heft of Mr. Big Jack Johnson's after-hours slide and as well for Mr. Cotton's xtra fine band's joyful playing on such a dark and menacing song. Mr. Jimbo Mathus' production here as usual brings you in to the room and sets you nicely in the hot seat front and center of the action goin' down live and naked and hot in the Mississippi midnite hour. 
I just gotta hope Yellow Dog Records P.R. Machine is fired up to overheatin' overdrive on this disc 'cuz if work this good isn't hailed in all the so called blues mags and beyond then sombody someplace ain't payin' attention. Of course most folks don't listen cuz they're too busy bein' dazzeled by the stars and wouldn't Hear great music if it was a dancing bear bitin' their ass.

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