Greetings, music lovers, welcome back to another installment of the Music Minute. There is a lot to cover today, so let's get right to it.
New release: Joshua Jacobson, "Good Little Thing."
Early in this column's run, we covered Joshua, a Covington resident, as a featured artist. As I said at that time, Jacobson was a real deal Piedmont Bluesman who could lay claim to being a disciple of Blind Willie McTell. Well, being that Willie passed on in 1959 and Joshua was born many years after, you might be wondering how that can be. For that, you need a little history lesson on the Blues.
Several years back, Jacobson befriended Cora Mae Bryant. Cora Mae was a Blues singer and performer who lived in Oxford, GA and was the daughter of Curley Weaver. Weaver, who was born and raised in Newton Co.in the early 20th century, went on to become a Blues legend in his own right and would become a regular collaborator with Blind Willie. Cora Mae was well schooled in what is called Southeastern style, or Piedmont, Blues. A style that is characterized by an alternating rhythm with the thumb and fingerpicking of the higher strings for the melody.
An unlikely musical partnership ensued with Cora Mae teaching Jacobson many of the ins and outs of Piedmont Blues and several of Blind Willie and Curley Weaver's songs. That relationship would grow and blossom and would include several recordings and shows during the late 90s and 2000s. Word of this impressive Bluesman started to spread and earned Jacobson many well-known fans including Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers and earned him many loyal fans at several blues venues and festivals all around.
So with the background in place, we can discuss Jacobson's new album, "Good Little Thing."
- Simply put, the album is simply amazing! From the first track, "Baby's Mama Really Don't Care," the listener is immediately captivated and taken away to a different time and place. Jacobson's voice is incredible - traditional, but with a very unique and warm style all his own. And his guitar playing...man, it's something else. And not just the fingerpicking Piedmont Blues stuff either - Joshua is easily one of the better slide lead players I've ever heard. It's a real treat, y'all.
Of the 13 tracks, Jacobson authored seven of them. Of the rest, there includes a Curley Weaver cover, a Blind Willie song, and "You Don't Love Me," an old blues staple that the Allman Brothers made famous. And the aforementioned Dickey Betts makes an appearance on track # 4, "Pistol Packin' Papa," and it is so good!
Several other well-known Blues players are also found on this album including Damon Fowler who has worked with Jeff Beck, Edgar Winter, Jimmie Vaughn and several others. The record was produced by Scott Cable and was primarily recorded at two well-known Florida studios - Spirit Ranch and Creative World.
Getting a chance to talk with Joshua was very enjoyable for me. He's a really cool guy and it was a great interview. Whether it was him talking about wanting to tip his hat to Dickey on a certain track, or him describing his version of a cover song as "swampy," it was a lot of fun. He can also get pretty philosophical about his music. Like when he talked about wanting to keep several of the tunes bouncy and fun while interjecting some humor into the lyrics because "there's a lot of serious and heavy stuff in this world - sometimes you gotta keep it light." And when remembering Cora Mae, "she was my Mother, my Sister, my teacher, and my friend."
You can purchase this superb album by going to: joshuajacobson.net. And you can follow him on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/PiedmontBlueszr
Who's Playing Where?
TODAY! New's Year Day Show with Chris, Jon & Scott at Porterdale Bar & Grill. 3 p.m. After you get done with your collards and peas, ease on down to the lovely mill village and catch this tremendous trio!
- Acoustic Thursday with Harvey Dills live at The Listening Room at Irish Bred. 8 p.m. Dills, front man for the highly touted group Sanctified Revival, will be playing an unplugged show in the upstairs listening room. This guy is really good!
- Brooke Serrano live at Amici. Friday Jan. 6. 8 p.m. This lovely and talented singer-songwriter returns to College Avenue in what is always a great show.
- Weekend at Porterdale Bar & Grill. Friday night - Dani Mac & Company; Saturday night - Arch Angel.
- Weekend at The Listening Room Friday night - Kolby Oakley; Saturday night - Mad Fellows.
- Live music at Your Pie on Thursday nights; live music most weekends at The Mystic Grill, Lahrceny Tavern (Social House), The Speakeasy, Five O'Clock, The Depot, Lucy's, and others.
Enjoy, and we'll see you next time!