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Complicated Mess

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones

Ellersoul Records 2018

Review by David Bowling

 

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones have issued a new album titled Complicated Mess. Despite the title, the album is neither complicated nor a mess. It is an album of solid modern day blues.

Deming takes the simple approach fronting the bassist Andrew Gohman and drummer Marty Dodson, with gust appearances by Kim Wilson, Little Charlie Baty, Sax Gordon, and Bob Welch, who bring their harp, piano, and guitar talents to various tracks. The added musicians bring additional energy and depth to the basic trio.

Through the ten original tunes and three cover songs, Deming remains true to original blues traditions. As an artist, guitarist, and vocalist; he understands the blues and its heritage. “Sweet Poison,” “Need My Baby,” “Cookin’ At The Kitchen,” “Rat Killin,'” and the title track all pay tribute to the past, while maintaining enough modern elements to make them relevant and entertaining.

Two cover songs stand out. Sam Thread’s “You Rascal You” and Fats Domino’s I’m Walkin'” both undergo a modern metamorphosis.

Doug Deming is now two decades into his career. He has carved out a nice niche for himself as he continues to produce an excellent fusion of new and old blues. Complicated Mess is another fine step on his blues journey.

Rating: ***1/2

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