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Happy Little Songs About Futility And Despair

Bob Eike

Soul Stew Records 2013

Review by David Bowling

 

As a youngster Bob Eike picked up a guitar and taught himself to play and set out on a career path to become a blues guitarist. He was recognized by Guitar Player magazine and he shared the stage with some of the elite blues players in the world including B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Johnny Winter, Leo Kotke, and John Lee Hooker. He went on to record with Billy Thompson and Dr. John.  He then moved to Chicago, one of the mecca’s of the blues, and disappeared from the studio and stage. For years … nothing…until now.

Soul Stew Records tracked him down and convinced him to return to the studio. The result is Happy Little Songs About Futility And Despair.

If there was a category at the Grammy Awards for Comeback Album Of The Year, this release by Bob Eike would be in the running. He is a first-rate guitarist and vocalist who was wise enough to record everything live with no overdubs whatsoever.

It is an album of short but brilliant blasts of music. There are ten songs but eight are under three minutes and the other two slightly over. This economy is perfect for his compositions. The guitar solos are under control and the incisive lyrics fit his years out of the limelight. Tracks such as “My Gods Better Than Your God,” Lucifer Jesus Jones,” “My Ovens Broke,” “That’s The Way It Goes,” and “I Don’t Do Lies” are not only entertaining but personal with a little humor added in for good measure.

Bob Eike has produced an excellent and personal blues album that leaves one wanting more.

What does the future hold for him? Well there is a statement on the CD case that says, “we made Bob come out of his basement and do this…he’s back in there now…told us to quit bothering him.”

 

Rating: ***1/2

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