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Confessions of a Blues Singer

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Album Review

Those who adore Block's work as a preservationist in reinterpreting classic Delta blues from the '20s and '30s will delight in this outing, another return to her solo acoustic roots. Block wanted to approach this album as an attempt to capture the spirit of the one-take recordings of the classic bluesmen, settling for rough mixes and not worrying about endings and other modern-day recording niceties. The result is an album that's the loosest of her career and one that's squarely focused on her guitar and vocals. Breaking things up are guest appearances from Bonnie Raitt playing slide on "Rambling On My Mind" and her son Jordan Block Valdina on piano and vocals on "I Am in the Heavenly Way" and "Long Way From Home." Bringing a sense of full circle to the project are the two originals that Block chooses to close the album with. Both "Mother Marian" (a tribute to mentor Marian Van Ness) and the autobiographical "Life Song" feature a full band behind her poignant lyrics. Other highlights include takes on Charley Patton's "Bo Weavil Blues," Furry Lewis' "Kassie Lee," Robert Johnson's "If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day," and Block's own "Silver Slide Moan." Far less overwrought than her usual offerings but still full of much inspired feeling, this is Block's most solid outing to date.


Born: 06 November 1949 in New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Aurora "Rory" Block has staked her claim to being one of America's top acoustic blues women, an interpreter of the great Delta blues singers, a slide guitarist par excellence, and a talented songwriter in her own right. Born and raised in Manhattan by a family that had bohemian leanings, she spent her formative years hanging out with musicians like Peter Rowan, John Sebastian, and Geoff Muldaur, who hung out in her father's sandal shop, before picking up the guitar at the age of ten. Her record debut...
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Confessions of a Blues Singer, Rory Block
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