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Gerry Hundt - Gerry Hundt's Legendary One-Man-Band (2015)

15-06-2015, 19:37
Music | Blues

Gerry Hundt - Gerry Hundt's Legendary One-Man-Band (2015)

Artist: Gerry Hundt
Title Of Album: Gerry Hundt's Legendary One-Man-Band
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Acoustic Blues
Label: Steadygroove Music
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 51:28
Total Size: 123 MB
Covers: Front

01. Market Morning Reel (2:29)
02. Stompin' & Shoutin' (3:17)
03. Walkin' Blues (3:30)
04. County Line (4:41)
05. Sunset (4:08)
06. Salty Dog (2:35)
07. Freight Train (3:52)
08. Broadway Boogie (2:51)
09. Goin' Away Baby (3:23)
10. Coffee Creek (3:13)
11. Take It Outside (2:03)
12. Broke Down (4:09)
13. Kitchen Dance (2:24)
14. Baby, What's Wrong With You (3:14)
15. I Shall Not Be Moved (5:33)

Gerry Hundt is a wunderkind of a blues and old-timey music multi-instrumentalist who plays as many roles as he does instruments, performing as a bandleader as well as a sideman, in full bands, quartets, trios, duos and solo.

But his “Legendary One-Man Band” has become Hundt’s alter ego, just as, say, Spiderman is Peter Parker’s. And to see him in action on his guitar/harmonica/bass drum/snare rig one wonders if Hundt was bitten by a radioactive boll weevil in his youth, enabling him to tear it up on his own terms, transforming from merely Gerry Hundt, musician, into “Gerry Hundt the Legendary One-Man Band,” sprouting stringed instruments, rack attachments and foot devices, and bursting into a set of hot, rag-time blues. I mean, I don’t know, but then there was that time he “went to Colorado,” and came back a full-fledged one-man-band-kind-of a musician. I’m just sayin’.

Okay, then how and why does he do it? Is it just because he can—like chewing gum and walking at the same time—but while solving a Rubik’s Cube, giving a fiery filibuster and dancing a tarantella? You know, there are musicians, and there are performers. And then there are entertainers. Hundt is an entertainer—in the classic sense of “all-in and fully involved.” In the tradition of musical gizmo geniuses Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller, Joe Hill Louis and Dr. Ross, he’s a guitar-pickin’, drum-thumpin’, kazoo-blowin’ kinetic combination of Rube Goldberg, Blind Boy Fuller, the Mississippi Sheiks and a medicine show at a tent revival meeting…

“People ask, ‘how do you do all that?’ Well, you don’t think about it. I mean, I can’t. If I thought about it, it would never work. It’s like Charlie Parker said, ‘You learn your act, and then you forget about everything.’ That’s kind of the way it is. I don’t take a lot of guitar solos when I’m doing the one-man band. The guitar is the glue that holds everything together between the harmonica and the drums. The harmonica is sort of the variable in the equation. The harmonica and the kazoo get to be the melodic elements in the one-man band and they get to sail around and do crazy stuff. But the drums and guitar, they have to be locked together at all times.

“It’s just practice—doing it all the time. When you start out, you walk. [i.e., use both feet] Bass drum, high hat. Bass drum, high hat. And some folks don’t get past that. [But] Doctor Ross and Joe Hill Louis—it was just quarter notes on everything. And that’s a lot harder to do than you would think.

“The Big John Wrencher Maxwell St. Alley Blues record (Barrelhouse, 1969) was a touchpoint for me. I wanted to re-create that feeling of a Chicago blues band for myself and the way that I heard things. I was strictly electric when I started out and I got more acoustic over the years. There’s a couple electric tracks on that CD that kind of hearken back to that.”

Hundt is speaking of his new CD, Gerry Hundt’s Legendary One-Man Band (Steady Groove), and the electric tracks he is referencing are his originals Stompin’ and Shoutin’, Broadway Boogie and his take on Jimmy Rogers’ classic, Goin’ Away Baby. Hundt approximates the spirit of that drum-crashing, cone-rattling, shout-through-the-harp-mike, street-corner Maxwell St. scene where Big John Wrencher, Guitar Buddy and “Playboy” Venson played in the 1960s and ’70s. But of course, he is doing it all himself. As someone who was there and sat in with those guys, I assure you Gerry Hundt would have been a right fit.

And the tracks on which Hundt plays resonator guitar faithfully elicit a pre-electric era, as his take on the familiar Walkin’ Blues, and his originals, the bouncy hokum number Take it Outside and the stomping, tear-down-the-jook-joint County Line. The latter deserves special mention for its marvelous Doctor Ross’ inspired doubling of the guitar and harp lines on a deceivingly bright and bouncy number with dark undertones.

“Yeah, I like that one, too,” says Hundt.

On Broke Down, yet another of his own numbers, he astonishingly finger picks through his own low-down harmonica solo.

The CD features a variety of styles, from fine finger-picking blues, sweet ragtime, trad old-timey, hokum and gospel melodies, all in some variation of a one-man band setting.

“Everything that I do kind of finds its way in there,” says Hundt. “And the solo guitar instrumental stuff: if you listen, it’s two different parts, there’s the alternating bass, then there’s the melody lines. So it’s sort of the guitar as a one-man band.”

Hundt’s original instrumentals include the lovely Mississippi John Hurt-meets John Fahey-style finger picked Sunset, plus Market Morning Reel and Kitchen Dance, as well as the frailed banjo (with bass drum) Coffee Creek.

Even his covers of the raucous trad number Salty Dog, Elizabeth Cotton’s classic Freight Train and Mississippi John Hurt’s Baby What’s Wrong With You sound as if they were Hundt originals.

The closing track is an instrumental medley combining two gospel classics, I Shall Not Be Moved with I’ll Fly Away.

“I changed up the tempo midway through,” says Hundt of the medley. “That whole half-time 4-4 beat played against a gospel thing, that was inspired by Ralph Kinsey [son of the late “Big Daddy” Kinsey of The Kinsey Report and a frequent musical collaborator with Hundt]. He would do that. The groove was so deep when he would do it that way.
Check out Gerry Hundt’s amazing Legendary One-Man Band. And swing it with someone you really like. ~Justin O’ Brien

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