Coming from a whisky-voiced wimmens tradition, y'all, in barrelhouse blues that first found expression in Bessie Smith and her era's ilk, then in Janis Joplin, Genya Ravan (Ten Wheel Drive), Lydia Pense (Cold Blood), and others, Eden Brant has paid her dues more roundly than most. Apprenticed to the famed Abie 'Boogaloo' Ames for 16 years, she earned the moniker of 'Little Boogaloo' and is soaked in a New Orleans sound down past the marrow all the way to the soul. Tip an ear to Ain't Got no Troubles, and you'll find yourself back in the land of voodoo, gris gris, juju, and raucous back room rum houses replete with velveteen and gaslights. Of course, if one is the protégé of Boogaloo Ames, then one is going to be an Ivory Madame as well, and Eden plays like she was born to it. I strongly suspect Harry Shearer, a huge aficionado of this style, is going to goggle over Troubles.
There's a reason for the uniqueness of this disc, already called the most eclectic of Brent's career, and it's attributable to the Yellow Dog label, one of the absolutely solidest blues homes extent. I won't even begin to extol the imprint's virtues; just trip on over to their site, browse around, and catch a few sonic samples. You'll find two of Brent's discs nestled into some of the most unique roots music available, including the inimitable Asylum Street Spankers. I haven't checked recently, but if they're running a slice of Later than You Think by Brent, go for it. Smooth, voluptuous, and smacking more than a little of sin, it's one standout among many on Troubles.
Colin Linden, musician nonpareil, produced the CD and played guitar throughout, but the clear standout is Brent and her piano, that dark speakeasy voice and sassy élan leading the way for the backing band to stretch into. The tinkle of shot glasses and rolling dice in the back room can be discerned amid a boozy swaying center stage that drags the passersby into the foyer and then straight down the aisle to the palace of delicious tainted delights and beguiling tawdry wonders. This ain't no little boy's or teenie's CD, Hiram, it's husky, musky, and just might letcha know a few things you weren't taught in school—and you'll be happy to learn 'em.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles