Mary Flower

Blues Jubilee

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This record will probably be found in the folk section of your store, but don't let that fool you -- it's a dazzling piece of modern acoustic blues, with its feet in the '90s and the '30s and no stretch evident. Flower covers Scrapper Blackwell's "Memphis Town," and Memphis Minnie's "Me and My Chauffeur Blues," and, most impressively, Robert Johnson's "Walking Blues" and Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Six White Horses" (which, in a fairer reality, would be the single off this album). Her playing, backed by Steve James, is dexterous and punchy, with some beautiful and subtle flourishes (Scrapper Blackwell will come to mind), and her singing is hard and deep, with none of the softness that normally betrays folkies who try to go this route. Her originals are strong, too, with "Long-Legged Daddy" the standout. She's a blueswoman and she means it.

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