Veteran UK blues players Baby Isaac have released their newest collection of genuine blues and roots music, titled “Blues Epidemic.”
Veteran UK blues players Baby Isaac have released their newest collection of genuine blues and roots music, titled “Blues Epidemic.” The record includes a standard 12 tracks, but spans a full 55 minutes of playing time, making it one of the most comprehensive digital blues LPs available today. Baby Isaac's sound is a time machine trip to the 50s blues scene of Chicago, crossed with elements of West Coast swing, a bit of bluegrass, a touch of rockabilly, and a healthy dose of the United Kingdom's 60s R&B revival.
The tracks on “Blues Epidemic” are not generally focused on the introspective, downtrodden tone blues was known for in the Leadbelly era, but rather the devil-may-care, hands-in-the-air attitude that came much later with songs like John Lee Hooker's “Boogie Chillin'” and Ray Charles' “Hit the Road Jack.” This is not to say that Baby Isaac do not have the proper, cool and moody blues – oh, they do.
This is exemplified in the soulful, natural voices of their vocalists, who to the ear often resemble Elvis Presley and Ella Fitzgerald, although not in an ostentatious way. They play against one another gorgeously, and if such a historic meeting had occurred, their duet could not have sounded much different than the marvelous singing from Baby Isaac (such a meeting did occur, incidentally, in 1956 on the Dorsey Bros. “Stage Show” program, although Presley and Fitzgerald did not perform together).
Baby Isaac's instrumentation is flawless, tasteful, respectful to the godfathers of blues and mindful of everything blues ought to be. Their bass lines are a stroll down urban streets, sometimes a walk through rain, sometimes on a busy Saturday morning. Their guitar is a jazzy, funky, active part of their rhythm section just with the right proportions of lay-back and “watch this,” clean when it ought to be, and slightly muddy when it should, too. Their harp deserves especial mention, having at once that railway sound that sounds like the frenzied flight of phantoms from the harmonica, yet at other times the mournful blue wail of the banshees of Memphis, Tennessee. Their tight, razor-sharp percussion is of the Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa persuasion, although again, not so ostentatious.
In fact, the entire ensemble, composed of Gary Arnott, Angela Moore, David Welsh, Graeme Smith, and Derek Welsh, is like an all-star team of performers who have pledged to stay true to the heart and soul of the music they love without ever “hamming it up” or getting showy. They are the UK's modern stewards of the old sound, and their heartfelt integrity makes all the difference in the world.
Baby Isaac's LP “Blues Epidemic” is available worldwide beginning February 14, 2013.
Staff Press Release Writer
The LP “Blues Epidemic” is distributed globally by MondoTunes (www.MondoTunes.com) and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download
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