The pandemic has kept Boo Boo Davis and ElectroBluesSociety from meeting up in person. But that didn’t keep the Dutch duo from working out with Davis. What had been an annual European tour for the trio became an exchange of sessions over the wire. The mix of Davis’ old school delta singing and the creative ferment of Jasper Mortier and Jan Mittendorp has been enhanced. The sound is more experimental and more primal than their earlier work. Necessity has created a set of songs that take the blues into uncharted waters. This isn’t a set of remixes or samples. It’s a full collaboration that brings out the best and most innovative sides of each musician.
While the production can’t quite erase the “assembly” feeling that this sort of recording can bring, that distance (and the strikingly different sounds of the studios) lends these songs that much more of an eternal and otherworldly quality. The blues means different things to different people, and I imagine a lot of people might wonder how some of this relates to the blues at all. The isolation between the notes that simply wails should be enough.
Many of these songs have been released over 2021 as singles. This set is a worthy document of the plague years. Let’s hope for a full concert season in 2021. Davis and the Dutchmen may never follow this exact path again, but it is surely a worthy one.