Bob Brozman

Post-Industrial Blues

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With no limit to his guitar ability, on Post-Industrial Blues Bob Brozman returns to his blues and Americana roots instead of tapping into unexplored genres like he has so effortlessly on past releases. Reunited with bassist Stan Poplin and drummer Jim Norris, who originally played on some of his earliest albums, he experiments with live improvisation at times, and adds meat to the skeleton of other pieces through overdubbing, changing the blues into an entirely new entity. Always a forward thinker, rather than playing the typical guitar-based blues he incorporates syncopation and a plethora of worldly stringed instruments into the mix for texture -- specifically, an 1860s English seven-string banjo, a Greek baglama, a Hawaiian ukulele, an Okinawan sanshin, and an Indian 22-string chaturangui and 14-string gandharvi. Overdubbing these elements into his compositions transforms them into shining junkyard jamborees in the spirit of Tom Waits or Captain Beefheart. There's no comparison between the aforementioned singers' vocal qualities and Brozman's, but lyrically he makes up for his mediocre tone and lack of blues rasp with some incisive lyrics, dabbling in sociopolitical metaphors and topical subjects that range from comical disgust with fast food to true anger about the New Orleans tragedy. Also included are reinterpretations of some Delta blues standards and a fittingly strange update on the Doors' classic "People Are Strange." The songs that feature odd tunings and postmodern techniques tend to be a lot more interesting than the simple three-piece jams, but the most charming moments remain when he's alone with his guitar, like on "Rolling Through This World," "Green River Blues," and "How I Love That Woman." Brozman makes slide guitar sound really, really easy, and whether or not you like his style this time around, he demonstrates once again that he's a hell of a musician.

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