Put On Your Red Shoes

Bobby Blackhat

Bobby Blackhat 2018

Review by David Bowling

I continue to have a soft spot in my heart for harp players, which brings us to Bobby Blackhat.

Blackhat has a somewhat unusual history for a bluesman. He served 27 years in the Coast Guard, received a medal for heroism, and was a Presidential Aide. Now, in his second career, he is a respected bluesman, who has released a new album titled Put On Your Red Shoes.

While the roots of his music may extend back to the Southern Delta; his songs are not as bleak or dark; rather they are energetic and many times upbeat. His cover of Jimmy Reed’s “You Got Me Runnin'” is a wise choice as their styles mesh well.

His new album contains 10 original compositions, several of which have been previously released, and now return in new versions.

He is at his best on the longer songs. “Grim Reaper” and “I Hear Mama’s Voice” are both close to ten minutes in length, allow him to stretch out on the harp.

Bobby Black Hat is one of those bluesmen who has learned his craft well. Put On Your Red Shoes is an excellent introductions to those lessons well-learned.

Rating: ***