They say that you can’t go far wrong with an old bluesman and it is equally true that an old bluesman can’t go far wrong and Boo Boo Davis duly doesn’t go far wrong with his latest album “Tree Man”. The album resonates with years of telling it like it is but without ever suggesting that his enthusiasm for the task in hand is on the wane. The songs are, as you might expect, traditional in aspect and content yet they don’t ever sound like they have been released from the prison that is time. Part of the reason for that might well be the raw nature of the recording. Without the polish of the computer to render everything perfect, it is up to the musicians present to set the groove and the tone with the groove here being your genuine steam train that it is isn’t going to stop anywhere else than at its allotted stations and Boo Boo Davis is the driver that gets that train going no matter how steep the incline. Blues fans know what they want and “Tree Man” is the kind of album that they will want. Boo Boo Davis might well stay within the lines of the old time blues genre, yet he manages, through sheer energy, to keep it all sounding fresh and that is both commendable and unusual these days. Best song on the album? The frenetic “She won’t Call Me On The Telephone”.
Bluesman Boo Boo Davis is pretty much the closest we now have to one of the originals. Born in Mississippi, he has actual experience of working the clubs of the Delta. His father, also a blues musician, played with the esteemed likes of John Lee Hooker and Elmore James and Boo Boo remembers such luminaries being around the house when he was young. The blues is in his DNA and this, his fifth album for Black and Tan Records, sees him on fine form, playing, as he has since 2008, in a stripped back trio format. It’s joyously blues…pure blues. Which is rare these days – no embellishments, no nods to anything remotely modern and, thankfully, no blues rock (which, if we’re brutally honest, is usually just rock with a token acoustic slide intro). Davis, although also a guitarist, is primarily a harp player and his distorted wailing heralds the arrival of lead track, ‘Dirt Road’. It’s minimal, gritty and totally authentic – there are shades of Muddy and RL Burnside to Davis’ vocals and the guitar has a nice, Stonesy feel, the band hitting a flawless, long practised groove. Groove. Groove is vital to this album. Songs are mostly frameworks, licks, jams, erm…grooves around which Davis adds buried-in-the-mix vocals and harp flourishes – usually ending with a lazy jam which, if freed from the confines of the studio, you expect would go on for several hours. Most of these riffs are as old as the blues itself but when they’re essayed this well – hey, who cares. There are 12 bar blues, slow blues, fast blues and subtle variations thereof. ‘Oh Baby’ (see above) has lonesome harp atop swampy guitar and muffled, metallic slide while ‘She Won’t Call Me On The Telephone’ hits the ground at runaway train momentum. Thunderous and abandoned, it’s 100% blues but as riotous as Jon Spencer or any avant garde NY noise terrorist, as relentless as prime Motorhead. ‘Bring My Baby Back Home’ is pure RnB, Brian Jones would have been in its thrall. There is also a definite Creedence delta swampiness to several tracks while John Lee Hooker returns in spirit with the dialogue led narrative of ‘Chocolate’. Final track ‘I’m Getting Old’ is taken at an ironically sprightly pace – a fearlessly bluesy take on mortality with added wah-wah, there’s no kicking of buckets yet for these dudes.This is a fine, rough edged, real blues album. It’s produced beautifully, recorded well with a genuine live-in-the-studio feel (with occasional chatter when songs end) and no new fangled trickery or knob twiddling (fnarr). It’s the blues folks, played from the heart with dirt under the fingernails. What you hear is what you get and long may we get blues of this quality and class. *drops the bullet mic
Following up the release of his new album BOO BOO DAVIS will be on the road in Europe from March 7 – 31. Below you find a list of dates and venues/cities.
March 7, Groningen (NL), Lola
March 8, Lichtensteig (CH), Soul Kitchen Musicbar
March 9, Oblarn (A), ku:L @ Lausbar
March 10, Irschenberg (D), Dinzler
March 11, Frankfurt (D), Das Bett
March 12, Koln (D), Talkin Blues Revisited @ Urania Theater
March 14, Bergen (NL), Taverne
March 15, Bielefeld (D), Bielefelder Jazzclub
March 16, Arnstadt (D), Rockjungfer
March 17, Veghel (NL), CHV Noordkade
March 21, Wattrelos (F), Blues en Mars 2019
March 22, Nijverdal (NL), Zinin
March 23, Amen (NL), Cafe de Amer
March 24, Zevenaar (NL), Filmhuis
March 27, Assendelft (NL), De Verwachting
March 28, Aachen (D), Musikbunker
March 29, Kleinstaasdorf (A), Mojo Music Club
March 30, Burghausen (D), Internationale Jazzwoche
March 31, Roermond (NL), Heilige Cornelis
Yesterday we released
This single is a little appetizer for the upcoming Boo Boo Davis album. After a string of single releases of famous blues covers on KuvVer Recors it’s now time again for Boo Boo to release a new and ‘all original’ album. Like most of the previous recordings with Boo Boo we captured everything live in one room without any overdubs. Ten brand new songs and one new version from a song that was released earlier in 2002. The title of the upcoming album is TREE MAN and it will be out on Black and Tan Records later this month just before Boo Boo’s upcoming European tour in March 2019.
The single is available on all digital platforms.
CD B&T 045 – Boo Boo Davis – Tree Man
Will be released officially in a few weeks but you can already order your copy now and we will ship as soon as they get in.
After a string of single releases of famous blues covers on KuvVer Recors it’s now time again for Boo Boo to release a new and ‘all original’ album. Like most of the previous recordings with Boo Boo we captured everything live in one room without any overdubs. Ten brand new songs and one new version from a song that was released earlier in 2002.
ElectroBluesSociety feat Boo Boo Davis – Smokestack Lightnin ElectroBluesSociety feat Boo Boo Davis – Dust My Broom
Here are another couple of download singles for KuvVer Records, again featuring the Mississippi bluesman, singer and harmonica blower Boo Boo Davis. He is in excellent form on Howling Wolf’s classic, ‘Smokestack Lightnin’, taken at the same tempo but with a slightly different accompaniment (though not too far away from the familiar version). This has a ghostly echo-like sound in the background; for those who remember cassette tapes, it is a little like when the reverse side used to “bleed through”. Boo Boo’s vocal is of course first-class! Similar comments can be applied to the cover of the Elmore James classic. There’s no doubt that’s the original inspiration for this rendition, with Jan Mittendoorp broom-dusting away on electric guitar, though even more to the fore is Boo Boo’s excellent, wild blues harp playing, making for another wonderful recording.
here you can get a little taste from the upcoming Boo Boo Davis album that we will release in March 2019
today we released a new single on KuvVer Records
This is the fourth track from the recording session that ElectroBluesSociety did with Mississippi blues man Boo Boo Davis. Together they went back to the classic Chicago blues and this time it’s another Howlin Wolf classic with a little ‘electrofication’
The track is released digital only and available on all download and streaming platforms
This is so beautiful it hurts. This is live Chicago blues. I’m thirty years past Chicago and I’d swear I rode the Englewoood-Howard B Train tonight, shared a bottle of Christian Brothers on the down low and got clotheslined by “the Hawk” wind when I transferred for the Ravenswood line. Heaven on a bone, Smiffy’s Ribs, testifyin’ for the blues, the signal’s coming in strong, someone got set free tonight.