Bill Rhoades

Runnin' & Ramblin'

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This is the old-time acoustic blues played unaugmented, stripped down to the bare basics, not plugged in at all, just a couple of guys (two tracks add a third person) sitting around playing for the love of this music. They put down some good versions of some old tunes and sure do play on this most aptly named disc. It starts off moving with Walter Jacobs' "I Just Keep Loving Her," and it hardly quits after that. There is a weak song or two that seem to kind of drift without direction, but for the rest, it stays right on track. Most of the tunes are covers, but they also blend the three songs Alan wrote and the two by Bill Rhoades right in with the older and more traditional blues cuts, without creating a noticeable seam. There is nothing here that is startling and going to knock you off your pins; it's just good, solid playing, and they do a fine job on the vocals on most of the cuts. They do a very delicate job of injecting a lot of inflection and feeling on the Hudson Whittaker cut "Love Her with a Feeling," which gives a new and interesting mood to the song. Their instruments reflect the discriminating touch they give to the vocals. They do a more than persuasive job on the old Bukka White standard "Shake 'Em on Down." It is a tune that has been done and redone again and again, but their version combines the strong harmony vocal interpretation with their solid playing. This is the recording of two friends showing their love for the blues.

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