October 30th, 2010
Son Jack Jr., a fantastic traditional blues guitarist opened for Charlie Musselwhite at the Triple Door on Thursday night along with Michael Wilde and the Delta Hothouse rhythm section brought the sounds of the Mississippi Delta to Seattle. Here is part of what was said about his recent CD in Bluesnotes in September. “After multiple listens to Walk The Talk by Son Jack Jr. & Michael Wilde, I keep finding myself asking, “Just where in Mississippi is Seattle located?” It’s not? Then why do these guys sound like first cousins to folk like Kenny Brown or Lightnin’ Malcolm or Mississippi Morris? I swear you could picture yourself sitting on the front porch of a shotgun shack outside Senatobia cooling the heat and humidity with a nice cool glass of sweet tea while listening to this album. It just sounds that down-home authentic.
Outstanding readings of selections from the songbooks of R.L. Burnside, Charley Patton and John Lee Hooker drive the mix with believability that there has to be a mistake on where they actually live. Further driven home when you hear their original material. Ain’t no way that was written by anybody that hasn’t been brought up around cotton fields or strolling down Highways 49 and 61. These songs are modern blues classics. Great themes. Feeling down so low that you’d have to get up just to die? Their baby howls for them in the middle of the night. And you’d better listen to these guys, because they mean everything they say. They walk the talk! And it’s a serious conversation!
Instrumentation is A-1 throughout, start to finish. Michael Wilde’s chromatic workout on “Crying Time” is powerful and grasps at your heart with its intense somberness. On “Maximum Security” he can whoop things up just like Sonny Terry. Son Jack offers multiple blues guitar approaches from Delta fingerpickers, to sizzling slides, to Hill Country trance. But he can also surprise you with a track like “Requiem” on which he comes across more like Leo Kottke or John Fahey with his solo string beauty that tells you there is more behind this man than just the blues. The pair are joined nicely throughout the disc by drummer Billy Barner and bassist Mark Davies, with keyboardist Eric Roberts joining in on a pair of tunes. It adds the proper flavoring. Just the right piquant to get you snapping your fingers. This music is so tasty you might be smacking your lips trying to savor that deliciousness.
Walk The Talk is more than just a good CD. It’s exceptional. Kick back and throw the disc on your player. More than likely you won’t be sitting long. The groove here will make you move whether you plan on it or not. Son Jack Jr & Michael Wilde will make you believe that Seattle really is in Mississippi. The far Northwest corner that is. A run-out-and-buy-it record for anybody who loves Southern blues music. Top shelf material! Need I say more?”
Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival