FAME Review: Bottleneck John - All Around Man
Bottleneck John - All Around Man

All Around Man

Bottleneck John

Opus 3 Records - CD 23001

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This Blues artist from Sweden had a revelation after listening to Eric Bibb's Spirit & The Blues disc in 1999, and put down his electric instruments, and has been playing predominately acoustically ever since. One of the first things you are going to notice is the container that holds the CD, all I will say is that it puts the ones we get in the USA to shame. The liner notes are detailed so there is no problem figuring out who is playing what on each track and even a centerfold that is not a pin up but a picture of all the instruments (18) he plays or had with him. It is this attention to detail and quality that is carried throughout the disc, in the recording and the sound quality, etc.; and it is such a noticeably different product. Even in the booklet there is a lot of information on the history and background of the songs and the instruments used on the 14 songs, 55+ minutes of music.

All this very noticeable quality before even the first notes are played, or chords sung. And Bottleneck John is not a one style wonder; this disc shows his familiarity with a variety of styles of the Blues, from deep Delta blues to Barrelhouse, to some Piedmont and it could go on. Then there are the instruments; all manner of guitars, resonators to electric, to cigar-box guitar, to acoustic, 6 and 12 string in all of the preceding, to Mandolins to resonator Mandolins, to banjo. To accompany the instruments he has his voice, which sounds as if it was dragged a long way down a gravel road voice, and an assemblage of his blues brothers who all are equally skilled on their chosen instruments. He is arguably expert on all of the above instruments is equally good no matter on which one he has selected to play the song. There is a lot to be had on this disc on a great many different levels and it is worth searching out.

Track List:

  • Lonesome Valley (Trad.)
  • Come On In My Kitchen (Robert Johnson)
  • No matter How She Done It (H. Wittaker / T. Dorsey)
  • Autumn Rime (Johan Eliasson)
  • Do You Call That A Buddy? (Raye / Wilson)
  • Jesus Gonna Be Here (Tom Waits)
  • Out Of The Rain (Tony Joe White)
  • All Around Man (Armenter Chatmon)
  • Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues (D. Coverdale / B. Marsden)
  • Mandolinferno (Johan Eliasson)
  • How Long, How Long Blues (Trad.)
  • Only A Woman (Johan Eliasson)
  • You Can't Get That Stuff No More (H. Whittaker / T. Dorsey)
  • Wade In The Water (Trad.)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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