George Brock & The Houserockers - Club
Reviewed by Ricardo, Nov 2005
fantastic it is that records like this are still being made.
That there are people in the world capable of so doing seems amazing
as I sit here after a hard week in modern London. Of course, Big
George has been doing this sort of thing all his life and presumably
he'd find rush-hour on the Northern Line pretty extraordinary. Different
lives, same blues...
Anyway, here's a recording from 2005 that reaches straight back
to all those fantastic records of the fifties in a way that decades
worth of pale imitators can only dream of. Big George and the Houserockers
are indeed 'The Real Deal', but not in the museum-piece-reverential
sense. They're real because they're playing it straight as it comes
to them and not attempting to re-create some mythical past.
The sleeve tells us 'He's been playing hard hitting 'Delta-Went-North'
style blues for over 50 years' and on this record it's possible
to feel all that history, yet at the same time this sounds fresh
and immediate and as if it's really about the real right-now lives
of the people playing it.
George's big, deep, powerful voice and unflashy yet right on the
money harp blowing are backed up perfectly by a band of outstanding
players. Riley Coatie (Snr.) on guitar is a revelation, and the
rest of the band is made up of his kids, all steeped in the classic
old style blues and all playing with extraordinary verve and commitment.
They play spare, raw, direct and (that word again) real, in a way
that connects directly to the soul of the blues.
been captured brilliantly on this CD too - recorded 'live' in one
three and half hour session in Jimbo
Mathus' Delta recording studio in Clarksdale Mississippi, using
Mathus' 'Future Primitive' approach - everyone in one small room
and no overdubs or computer trickery. The result is a record that's
stripped right down to the bare, essential, essentials and which
proves that the heart wins out over the head every time.
This is a record that's been built on feel and vibes and groove
and soul and sincerity. It's a record that remembers the past yet
feels alive, completely well, and right up to date. It's beautiful
and life affirming and reminds you what it was you loved about the
blues in the first place. Outstanding.
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