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For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen

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Album Review

Some blues purists will say that the blues were meant to be played and sung by a single gentleman or woman, and arrangement-wise, to be kept stripped down as much as possible — which was the preferred method in the genre's dawning days. If you're one of these aforementioned music buffs, then Samuel James is the bluesman for you. As evidenced on his 2009 release, For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen, James follows the same musical template he laid down on his previous release, Songs Famed for Sorrow and Joy. Think blues from the '20s with a modern-day production, and you're not far off from what lays within For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen. Once more, James has assembled an album's worth of authentic blues ditties, especially such standouts as the album-opening "Bigger, Blacker Ben," as well as "Joe Fletcher's Blues" and "Wooden Tombstone" — the latter of which is comprised solely of James' voice and what sounds like the tap of his shoe keeping the time. Few modern-day blues revivalists get it right, as more settle for mere regurgitations of licks popularized by Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But Samuel James is certainly an exception, as heard throughout For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen.

For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen, Samuel James
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