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Ted Drozdowski's Scissormen - Love & Life (2015)

1-08-2015, 20:12
Music | Blues

Ted Drozdowski's Scissormen - Love & Life (2015)

Artist: Ted Drozdowski's Scissormen
Title Of Album: Love & Life
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Blues
Label: Dolly Sez Woof Recordings
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 50:37
Total Size: 119 MB
Covers: Front

01. Beggin' Jesus (3:39)
02. Letter From Hell (2:55)
03. The River (6:49)
04. Watermelon Kid (4:23)
05. Let's Go To Memphis (5:11)
06. R.L. Burnside (Sleight Return) (5:27)
07. Can't Be Satisfied (3:29)
08. Black Lung Fever (6:00)
09. Dreaming On The Road (2:53)
10. Lived To Tell (5:21)
11. Unwanted Man (4:25)

Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen are undeniably a blues band, and a very good one at that - well versed in the history and the development of the genre. The problems with the concept of musical genres are many faceted. Broad categories have become either meaningless generalities or restrictive boxes for purists of every stripe. Meanwhile, narrower sub genres can quickly get just plain silly. Drozdowski and his Scissormen are adept in walking the line between purism and innovation. Narrowing down, their music has been described as acid blues, psychedelic blues, and hill country blues, and it is all of that and so much more.

The band brings a reckless raw energy that drips with honeysuckle wine and the stifling yet comfortable humidity of the Deep South. There is mysticism and mystery in the music and a stage has not yet been built that can contain Ted Drozdowski - who quite often roams the audience, stands on tables, and borrows utensils to use as slides. A warning, if you find yourself at a Scissormen show (and you really must find yourself at a Scissormen show), you will want to devote your attention to Ted and his band.

The band’s new album, Love and Life (due out July 31), manages to effectively capture both the power of their live shows and the rich and studied diversity possible in a distinct genre of American Roots Music. It is the result of years of study and years of no-holds barred playing at venues ranging from juke joints to Bonnaroo.

Ted Drozdowski brings to the record experiences that range from his decades as a journalist, to time spent with hill country blues legends like R.L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill, and Junior Kimbrough, to time spent leading indie bands in Boston, and to his years leading the Scissormen. His first book, "Obsessions of a Music Geek, Vol. 1: Blues Guitar Giants" will also be released July 31.

The album kicks off in high gear with “Beggin’ Jesus”, a foot stomping number filled with the classic blues paradigm of sin and redemption. “Watermelon Kid” tells the story of Watermelon Slim, who was a veteran and a truck driver who tested at a genius level IQ and who became a bluesman late in his life. “Let’s Go to Memphis” features the distinctive vocals of Memphis Soul singer Mighty Sam McClain, who passed away in June.

The album is filled with stories: personal stories like “Black Lung Fever” sung for both of Ted’s grandfathers who died of the disease after years working in mines and stories about legendary blues men like “Watermelon Kid”, “R.L. Burnside (Slight Return)” (told as a dream but based on a true story, and “Unwanted Man” (about Boston bluesman Weepin’ Willie Robinson whose mother died in his arms when he was eight).

The album serves as a showcase of the powerhouse trio, Scissormen headed up by Ted Drozdowski’s accomplished and respected guitar work. In many ways, the album is a summation of years of life and music and study which has garnered the band praise from some powerful music figures.

The late, legendary Memphis producer, Jim Dickinson heard Ted and the Scissormen before he passed away, and he was quoted as saying, “Ever wonder what would have happened if Bukka White had discovered the Fuzz Tone? Or if Skip James had played piano with Antenna Jimmy and Drumbo from the Magic Band? Scissormen is acid blues for the 21st century... Robert Palmer would indeed be proud.” ~by Joe Wolfe-Mazeres

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