Boyes, Brill and DelGrosso
In Blues & Roots music there is a tantalizing tension between traditional structures and the continual reinvention that comes with each new generation of players. There are so many styles and histories from which to draw – and each player brings their own particular influences and sensibilities to their performance. In that spirit, Live From Bluesville offers the listener an experience of respect for tradition and daring originality.
Seasoned players and multi-award winning artists in their own right, Fiona Boyes, Tom ‘Mookie’ Brill, and Rich DelGrosso, following a session on Beale St. Memphis, during the 2007 Blues Music Awards, decided to further explore the spaces where their respective musical influences and passions meet. This album is the result.
Fiona, Mookie, and Rich, at the urging of myself and Bill Wax, Program Director for XM Satellite Radio Bluesville in Washington, DC, ventured into the XM studios in August, 07. Armed only with mutual musical respect and a growing friendship, completely lacking in formal rehearsal or actual combined performance history, they’d made rough plans about what they would play on the drive across the Appalachian Mountains from West VA to DC.
Four hours later they emerged with this album. It is a traditional recording, in that there are no dubs, multiple sessions or takes. It is a true live recording, not formally rehearsed, and with a song list determined by their inspirations at the time.
Musical journeys are also personal histories. Fiona’s seminal encounter with the Blues came through listening to pre-war recordings of Hill-country and Delta artists, back in her native Australia, and it led to her now being acknowledged by Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin as one of the great blueswomen of her generation. Likewise with Mookie. He reflects – “One day when I was about 10 or 11 I heard Lightning Hopkins on the radio. This ushered my downward spiral into the musicianers life! I went out and bought The Blues Giant Lightning Hopkins for $1.99 I still have it!” From listening to his heroes, Mookie has gone on to perform and record with greats like Pinetop and Hubert, John Brim, Louisiana Red, Bob Margolin, and Willie Smith. Rich counts himself blessed to have learned and played with mandolin heroes Yank Rachell, Howard Armstrong, and Johnny Young, spanning Blues as well as string band traditions. He is described by Howling Wolf’s biographer as “the greatest living blues mandolin man and the best since Yank Rachell.”
So, here you have it – a unique take on traditional acoustic blues, where Boyes, Brill, and DelGrosso seek to honor the legacies of Howlin’ Wolf, Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, JB Lenoir, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Yank Rachell, while adding their own contributions to this living tradition we call THE BLUES. – Steve “The Preacher” Clarke, Executive Producer
1 Early in the Morning 2 Homegrown Sin 3 Hard to Live With 4 Smokestack Lightning
5 Easy Baby 6 Shotgun Blues 7 My Baby Left Me 8 Good Lord Made You So
9 Get Your Nose Outta My Bizness! 10 Mississippi Road 11 Two Legged Dog