Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cassette Review: The Marshals "AYMF Session" (Freemount Records)

[€6 // Edition of 100 //]

At some point in every person's life they have to hear the blues for the first time.   And I'm not talking about hearing Dave Matthews Band on modern rock radio or at a stoner friend's house, but I mean really hearing the actual blues and saying. "Yes, this is what it's all about.  I get it now".    I can't really remember the first time I heard the actual blues, though it might have been early on since my father is a fan of Bob Dylan, as are most parents of people my age.   I remember "I Put a Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, "The Thrill is Gone" by B.B. King and Albert Collins in the movie "Adventures in Babysitting" before I knew any of their names, but no, I don't remember the first time I heard the blues.

I'm not eagerly to walk anyone through a brief history of the blues by any means because there are probably books out there you could read about such matters and they would explain it far better than I could.    All I know is that the blues isn't just a style of music or a state of mind but it's a lifestyle.   I'm not saying that you have to be sad all the time to rock the blues, but it does help if you have had some deep moments of sadness and loss during your lifetime.

So there's this singer now- and lucky for him I haven't received any emails about him lately so I forget his name as I type this and if I remember it between now and the time I post this I won't include it so as not to name names if you will- and when he first came up, before he became this sort huge star that he is now, one of my friends said that he reminded her of Jimi Hendrix (which is interesting because Hendrix is covered on this cassette) and so as such I felt the need to check him out.   I listened to his album and, well, I was left underwhelmed to say the least.

You see, people can talk all that they want to and they can make all the claims that they want to and this other man's success just goes to show you that many other people think that this man is Jimi Hendrix-like and leading the blues in a new century where as I simply... do not.   But hearing this cassette by The Marshals can only make me think of the time I spent in New Orleans at B.B. King's restaurant and I can drop other names like Stevie Ray Vaughan, but this is just some good old fashioned blues rock.

It's that guitar in a smoky bar somewhere filled with harmonica and soul.   It doesn't so much tell you a story as it rips your heart apart at hearing it.   If it was a movie it'd be narrated by Sam Elliott and you would feel its pain.    This is a sound that far too many people capture today because to borrow an old cliche it's like lightning in a bottle and not everyone can catch it.     When my son, who is now three, first heard this when I put it on he was dancing along like it was the best thing ever.    And now we will all know what his first real blues he heard was thanks to The Marshals.

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