– An International Down Home Blues Revue
Review by Greg Johnson
The idea wasn’t a hard one to come up with. Due to the Covid-19 virus music had pretty much come to a standstill in the ways of performances for musicians world-wide. Still in a creative mind, European harmoniuca great Roger C. Wade (Little Roger & The Houserockers) decided to put his ideas down to recording new material. He asked close friend guitar player Andreas Arlt (BB & The Blues Shacks) if he’d like to collaborate and that kicked things off in what turned out to be a project that spread around the globe with more people wishing to participate than they could handle on a double-disc recording.
Appropriate to the time of uncertainty, the original songs that the artists contributed to the recordings had a theme regarding the loss and loneliness brought about by pandemic. It’s not surprising to see titles such as “Lockdown Blues, “ “Personal Shutdown,” “Home Alone Stomp,” “Everything Has Changed,” “Mean Old Quarantine” and most notably “Fuck You, M. Virus.” Being shut-in did not suppress their need for expression and as artists having their music was their outlet.
The songs came about written by one artist who would send it to their friends to add their own input via the internet. Dubbed together in this fashion it is amazing at just how well everything comes together on every number. With multiple takes on blues, ranging from boogie, R&B, traditional and urban stylings. And the musicians lending a hand are some of the foremost from around the world, including Americans Larry Garner, Fred Kaplan, Big Daddy Wilson, Joe Filisko, Aki Kumar and Nathan James, Germany’s Abi Wallenstein, Michael Van Merwyk and Tommy Schneller, Spain’s Victor Puertas, and Belgium’s Jack O Roonie amongst the many stand-out participants from throughout Europe and America. (The package includes a booklet with short bios on each of the musicians.)
We all have been going through the hardships of being locked down and exploring music where we can find it, on-line and recordings. Listening to the Lockdown Sessions makes being shut-in a little more bearable and a huge thanks to these artists for trading their ideas amongst one another. In times of hardship such as this, expressions of frustration and loneliness can flow into a positive output that speaks for us all.
Total Time: 1:25:06
Lockdown Blues / Can’t Get Too Close / Personal Shutdown / Death Letter Blues / Mean Old Quarantine / Low-Down Lockdown / Get Me Outta Here / Blow A Poor Man Down / Boogie Galore / The Death Of Louisiana Red / Home Alone Stomp / World Crisis Blues / Be Ready When He Comes / Why You Lie / Hey Sweet Marie / Destination Mississippi / Come See About Me / I Know / Sax Supreme / Fuck You, Mr. Virus / I Can Tell The World / Lockdown Shuffle / Everything Has Changed / Come What May / Give Me My Heart Back