Paul Cowley Album – Rural
Rural is an album crammed with good songs, endearing vocals and acoustic guitar that sings. This is country blues with a collection of classics and a handful of self-penned numbers showing that Paul understands the beating musical legacy of the blues. Rural is not an album lurking in the backwaters, it is a celebration of blues songs that have no need for effects and add-ons it is a perfect demonstration of stripped-back music in its simplest form.
Stripped-back does not need to be dull and leaden as the foot tapping Jitterbug Swing shows with the harmony of guitar, stomp board and lyrics that reflect good times as captured in Bukkha White’s iconic number.
All the classics were delivered with feeling and panache especially Candyman and the last track Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied; anyone who loves music that is a simple combination of harmonies between guitar and vocals this is an album that will please the listener every time you will be satisfied!.
The hidden gems are Paul’s own compositions, the four numbers are not replications of pieces from a music museum. Every one of his own numbers has a modern feel to the lyrics shaped and honed to fit into the musical format of the album. These are tracks that reflect the earlier music and works giving the album clarity of musical form and a foot in the past and the present.
There is for me something missing a layer of sound to augment and give punctuation to the lyrics could be a different tone from guitar, blues harp or percussive tones. The album leans for me heavily on the tried and tested Blues format of the front porch and hasn’t captured the feel of modernity that makes the album stand out from the crowd with an unexpected twist in the blues being delivered.
That said, there is no doubt the Paul Cowley Album – Rural, delivers what the artwork promises this is country blues, full of acoustic delights found in the rural heart and soul of stripped back roots music.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Write Me A Few Of Your Line (Mississippi Fred McDowell)
2. Monday Morning Blues (Mississippi John Hurt)
3. Jitterbug Swing (Bukka White)
4. Not What They Seem (Paul Cowley)
5. Pay Day (Mississippi John Hurt)
6. Death Letter (Son House)
7. Candyman (Rev Gary Davis)
8. I Like A Girl (Paul Cowley)
9. Franklin Nashville (Paul Cowley)
10. You Gotta Move (Mississippi Fred McDowell)
11. At The End Of The Day (Paul Cowley)
12. I Can’t Be Satisfied (Muddy Waters)
Have listen –