Self titled Benjamin Bassford Acoustic Album Delights

The blues always causes a debate. For me, some musicians learn to play the blues others are destined to play the blues. Benjamin Bassford is firmly in the latter. He oozes the blues out of every note on his latest self-titled album. A superb follow up to From The Blue Door. He is an artist whose skills and power are growing with every note he plays whether in a studio or live in front of an audience.

Having listened to the album a number of times as Benjamin suggested from the first to the last note in chronological order as the album was made and picking out tracks that take my fancy.  There is something missing however you approach the self-titled album. Is it that tiny added extra, a twist of artistry that would set the album above the current crop of blues on offer. Have thought and considered this should have been a live album.  The opening track you hit play and there is silence I began to wonder was the track faulty. No, it wasn’t the guitar intro was worth waiting for it is beautifully played (more of that in a minute). This spacing continues, there are too many gaps /pauses leaving you hanging waiting for the next piece of Bassford mastery.  The presence of an audience would have given an added warmth. In between the tracks, there would have been a linking moment where Benjamin’s speaking voice could be heard and the counter-intuitive mix of this Northern spoken voice and pure Southern Blues as we discover with the poetic interlude Velvet.

Opening with Second Hand Bridges, there is nothing second or underhand about the superlative guitar playing on every track. The mastery of fingerpicking as a pure pleasure to listen too. The whole album is replete with lyrical gems that shine with a descriptive and emotional clarity that opens up a visual landscape through Bassford’s blues. What a line redolent with sadness, untold stories the line in the opening number, ‘The scarecrow in abandoned wedding dress…’  you wonder who owned the dress what was the story this is music with layers of narrative.

I will leave you to listen to the songs and marvel at the words and music unfurl like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis this is music that flows through your veins and enters your subconscious.  The long guitar driven opening of Veins flows out with words delivered in short repartees. The Blues is classic the delivery captures bluesmen of the past as the music at times is cut down to the bone exposing the hidden Veins that are the heartbeat of the Blues. The feeling an artist requires to be at home in the genre.   This is an acoustic album that is easy to listen from the first to the last number.

Numbers including Self-Medication Blues where the bell-like quality of the strings melds into a darker sound and words that capture the emotion and the moment when self-medication is the only solution. Delivered with heartfelt emotion. The tone picks up as we are Lost On St Martin’s the blues is harder with tinges of hill country vibes combined with gospel and his fantastic finger-picking. Delivered forthrightly changing the tonal rhythm of the album. The highlight for me was Death O’Grace rhythmic, percussive guitar that has a sting and delivered slightly faster once again Benjamin demonstrates his innate understanding creating an acoustic album that ebbs and flows.

Closing the album with Dawn, we have the mix of his guitar and the background of a world awakening birdsong and dog barking in the distance and another day is dawning. This album surely also is a new dawn in the musical journey of a young man with a bucket load of talent. Playing slide and fingerpicking on acoustic and resonator guitars giving a depth and variation of tones and textures.

When you need time out, time to sit and think, time to contemplate or reflect this album is the perfect accompaniment.

Eightpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Formats Available
Vinyl Style CD encased in a Printed Vinyl Style Sleeve & Printed Outer Wallet (All Tracks included)

Special Edition Vinyl: 180gram Transparent Blue Vinyl encased in a Printed Inner Sleeve & Printed Outer Wallet (Includes a Printed Lyric sheet & a Digital Download Sticker)

Tracklisting – CD/Digital
Second Hand Bridges
Veins
Baby Broke My Fever
Self- Medication Blues
Lost On St Martin’s
V.S.C
For The Birds
Red Mist
Velvet
Death O’Grace
Red Eyed Night
Waltz Away
Dawn

Tracklisting –  Limited Edition vinyl
Side A:
Second Hand Bridges
Baby Broke My Fever
Self- Medication Blues

Side B:
V.S.C
Veins
Red Mist
Waltz Away

Self titled Benjamin Bassford Acoustic Album Delights

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