Listen Up: Wednesday, December 21, 2005
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Various artists

KNON/89.3-FM Texas Blues Radio Vol. 4 (Self-released)

By Tom Geddie

Not long ago, Tarrant County’s blues scene easily contained more than a hundred working bands. Today, most local blues musicians make blues music as a calling, since commercial opportunities have pretty much dried up. Many of the scenesters, naturally, look backward, honoring the history instead of extending it.

KNON/89.3-FM Texas Blues Radio Vol. 4 features 15 songs, many of which deal with the roots of the blues: hard times and sexual frustrations. None of the compilation’s tracks demands to be played repeatedly, but there are a lot of good, solid numbers in which the vibe counts more than the lyrics.

K.M. Williams and Washboard Jackson of Trainwreck share a driving song called “Raggedy Man” that re-creates early, acoustic, country blues. Two previously unreleased songs reach similar heights — Joel Foy’s “Tribute to Sylvester Weaver” and Aaron Burton’s “Blind Lemon” tribute.

Eleven of the songs could fit into just about any era before the turn of the last century. Highlights include Miss Marcy’s sassy “Sugar Daddy,” Cricket Taylor’s “Look What You Did,” Hash Brown’s “Blues for April Green,” Paul Byrd’s instrumental “Blues for Pearl,” Edwin Holt’s “Red Clay Back Road Mama,” and Paul Harrington’s rowdy “Two Harmonicas in a Stripper’s Bra.”

The c.d.’s edgiest song — and the only one that deals with modern times — is the Steve Hill Trio’s “Trouble Coming Down” from the band’s recent full-length, For the Love of Music? (note the question mark).

The blues permeates so much American music, but to hear it in its pure form — which does not include Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons, or any other variation of blues-rock — requires either traveling far and wide or tuning in to KNON from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Listen now before the only place to hear the sound is in a museum. — Tom Geddie


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