Steve Howell's My Mind Gets To Ramblin' is about as near to perfection as I have heard in a long time!
Thirteen covers, mostly old blues classics, delivered with such style and feeling that the original bluesmen are applauding from their graves.
Howell opens with a completely satisfying version of Muddy Waters' I Can't Be Satisfied. He has mellowed the tune a bit from Muddy's and turned it into a strut that is a delight to hear. Next up is a version of Mississippi Fred McDowell's Louise. Hot, hot, hot! Imagine R.L. Burnside meets Mississippi John Hurt. Howell paid attention to McDowell's declaration, "I don't play no rock and roll" but still brings this tune forward with a understated drive that just absolutely works.
Understated. A great way to describe the bulk of what Howell delivers on this CD. The guitar work is first rate without being "in your face." The vocals have a gentle coarseness that easily seduce you into the reality of the songs. The use of base and drums on material not normally associated with these instruments. The top notch be simple and clean production work. All this builds a musical collection that anyone into acoustic, country blues should rush to include in their library.
The cover of All My friends Are Gone, also known and Delia is one of the saddest versions I've ever heard. Mississippi Blues is such a chestnut that most folks should stay away from recording it but Howell's handling is so right on that he gets away with it. And the Robert Johnson, Rev. Robert Wilkins and J.D. Loudermilk covers are equally strong.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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