This collaboration of longtime friends is a dream of a recording that pairs blues pianist David Maxwell with Louisiana Red, a master of the slide guitar. The wonderful intimacy of this disc recalls those foggy memories of the backroom jam sessions after shows where the dark of night somehow morphed into the early light of morning without time seeming to pass. It is just the two of them, no one else to cloud the waters, David's left hand fills in the bass line, not even another person as producer to mediate any problems or conflicts. These two masters of the old school of blues keep it raw and close to the bone with Red's heartfelt vocals being the final straw here. They went into the studio with no agenda, not even a set list, maybe a couple of ideas and just played. So what you hear is what went down in the studio, just that little bit cleaned up so that false starts and such are eliminated.
The songs are a varied lot (there are no writer credits) and give both men the chance to show their chops and shine bright on the mostly slow to mid-tempo songs that seem to linger long after they are finished. The songs are ageless and true classics of the genre. Red and David both show true feel for the song with their playing and neither tries to hog the solo time, they just let the song play out and there is a feel of a true love of the music here.
They recorded seven songs together and then left the tape rolling as Red told stories about other musicians and their tunings and how they played. Normally I don't like that and feel a bit 'cheated' however here it is informative and something I haven't skipped over on repeated listenings. This is definitely a disc worthy of the appellation "classic".
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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