Sunday, May 27, 2007

TheSolitaireOne - I Let My Baby Go

Hear The Track Here

Or, if you frequent Soundclick's forums, you may know this artist better as songswriter. First time, as far as I am aware, that I have reviewed this artist, although I have read his reviews and forum postings enough times. I Let My Baby Go is classed as Straight ahead blues and that's pretty fine by my lights because I have been a lover of the blues for a long, long time as anyone who read my review of the Avalanche/Blues Forum track last month will testify. Moreover, while downloading this track, I noticed and played You Never Miss Your Water which is also on this page. The original track (by Lightning Hopkins) is one of my all time favourite blues tracks and to give him his due, TheSolitaireOne makes a splendid job of it.

For an artist to cite BB King, Howlin Wolf and Buddy Guy as influences should give you a clue that this is the blues, as authentic and nuanced as only the best blues can be. Or at least it better be because that's the downside of this thing called authenticity; if it doesn't feel real it isn't going to work in the same way. While it would be fair to say that I Let My Baby Go - or at least this version of it - doesn't quite match the sound and fury as played by the above sources or the quite extraordinary bluesy outpourings of Jimi Hendrix, instrumentally it pretty much hits the right spots.

In my books, that's a bloody good start.

It's in the vocal delivery where the facade breaks down, unfortunately, and that purely is a matter of personal opinion. I'm probably going to get lynched for this (Ed: is that worse than s-u-e-d?) but the vocal sounds too white bread to really cut the mustard. By all appearances, Arthur Park (aka TSO) penned this track and obviously scored it all out too - he says on his interview page that this is home recorded; despite the impression the crowd on this track will give you. I'm certain that the vocal would cut more in a geniunely live situation; it's very hard to do that in a more sterile environment. There's also a strangeness about the kick that worries me, almost as if the whole backing track is off by the slightest tad. Nonetheless, these are just musicianly niggles and won't amount to much in anyones eyes. All they will be interested in is that it IS the blues, at least in sound and texture.

Well performed blues that just misses the mark. Recommended if you like the genre.

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