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Cold Blooded World

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Album Review

Santa Monica blues artist Ike Cosse dropped his backing band for his second album for JSP. Cold Blooded World is unmistakably a portrait of one man and his outlook on the world. Where other modern practitioners of his genre often seem pressured by their record companies to buff out any idiosyncrasies, Cosse isn't afraid to come across as exactly what he is: a performer who's as natural a storyteller as he is a bluesman, using simple guitar textures and spare harmonica to support tales filled with humor, heartbreak, and wry observation. He recalls John Lee Hooker on "Brothers Gittin' on with Others," while "That's the Blues" explores the issue of gun violence over a guitar figure straightforward enough to have come from Lightnin' Hopkins or any number of early postwar legends. Novelties such as "Nothing You Can Do or Say" help keep the tone light, though even the potentially heavy numbers ("Black Cowboy," in which the singer laments the absence of his fellow African-Americans in movie Westerns) are mitigated by an observational, man-on-the-street lyrical bent. In Cosse's world, it's raw charisma and the ability to put forth quality songs that matters, not technical prowess. Granted, Cosse's material might not always follow traditional blues in structure. But in manner and mood, he's arguably more authentic than contemporary blues acts who emphasize slickness but lack a personal creative vision. Cold Blooded World, as unpretentious as a night at a juke joint, is a document of a bluesman on the rise.


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Guitarist and vocalist Issac "Ike" Cosse has been leading a band called the Coldbloods around the San Francisco Bay area for the last 20 years. Cosse took his earliest musical inspiration from guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, and he played jazz and fusion for some time before settling on the blues. Cosse joined the band of saxophonist Joe Puttley in 1983 and learned the finer points of blues playing from him, as well as the need to be an entertainer when on the bandstand....
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Cold Blooded World, Ike Cosse
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