Blues To Go
Stony Plain 2018
Review by David Bowling
Colin James is now in his early 50’s and has just released his 19th studio album. He is a blues traditionalist and his latest album reflects that inclination.
Blues To Go combines nine covers and two original composition. Blues legends Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Big Boy Crudup, and Robert Johnson provide the material and inspiration. James, however, takes the road less traveled as he stays away from their better known songs and delves a little deeper into their catalogues and legacies.
“One More Mile (Muddy Waters), “I Need Your Love So Bad” (Blind Willie Johnson), and ” and “Did Myself A Hole” (Crudup) are the highlights, along with a gritty version of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.”
James is always respectful of the material and their legacies. He never tries to over-extend or over-whelm the songs but sticks close to their original intent.
Colin James has a knack of introducing classic blues songs to the 21st century. Blues To Go is an apt name for his latest album.