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The Devil's Music

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Album Review

This release by a master of the acoustic blues guitar and the 12-string blues guitar will earn him even more accolades from his peers. He is considered by other bluesmen as the man at the top of this form and getting even better with each outing. He has grown from his folk roots, and instead of just doing songs of the long-gone masters, he writes his own songs in this genre. These compositions fit together so seamlessly they're reminiscent of a long-lost Robert Johnson song from the Delta, a Leadbelly tune that escaped notice somehow, or a Geremia original. These are tunes that future generations of bluesmen will be calling classics, as with "If a Woman's Love Was Whiskey." The music he plays is timeless and knows no boundaries. He is a man who has sat down with some of the legends, such as Skip James and Son House, and soaked up their music, worked it, and played with it until it became his own. He is truly perfectly matched with the earthy quality of his music, and has the good sense to mix up the song tempos to keep the disc moving along. He has, like a fine old barn, endured the elements well, and his guitar technique and voice have improved, but his innate feeling for the blues has grown as sure as the passage of time improves the wood of that old barn. "Still Thinking About You" has vocal phrasing reminiscent of Blind Willie McTell and guitar echoing some of the qualities of Robert Johnson, but it is Paul's tune. This man's knowledge and technique are still growing, which effectively keeps this very valuable and rich tradition alive and vibrant. People such as Guy Davis give Paul credit for renewing their interest in the form, and credit him with being at the pinnacle and spurring them along as far as guitar playing is concerned. This is his seventh recording; unfortunately, his first three are out of print, but his recordings have done nothing but get better. They register the growth of a man who is already at the top of his crowd. This is far and away his best recording to date: a must get.


Born: 21 April 1944 in Providence, RI

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Since the mid-'60s when he made the move to go full-time with his artistry, Rhode Island-based acoustic blues and folksinger Paul Geremia has supported himself through his music. Geremia is an Italian-American from Providence, Rhode Island, a town that gave birth to the careers of Roomful of Blues, Duke Robillard, and other iconic blues figures. He was raised in a family that moved across the country and back several times in his youth, and that experience furthered his interest in music, history,...
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The Devil's Music, Paul Geremia
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