23 January 2010

The Blues Preachers - Dry Long So (2009)

The Blues Preachers is a duo playing traditional American blues and folk music. This wouldn't be all that unusual, but for the fact that Brother John and Captain Bluetongue (as the players call themselves) hail from Sydney, Australia, of all places. But Australian-ness notwithstanding, the duo's take on American music sounds every bit as good the genuine article.

Released just last year, Dry Long So is The Blues Preachers' second album, featuring eighteen tracks that demonstrate a variety of sounds and styles. Songs like "Creole Belle" and "The Angel of Death" are folksy ballads, "Oh Death" and "John the Revelator" have the distinct feel of gospel dirges, "Big Road Blues" and "Hard Time Killing Floor" are excellent examples of the pure Blues sound and "Goodnight Irene" has an impeccable air of Ragtime about it (as an aside, "Oh Death" and "Hard Time Killing Floor" should sound familiar to anyone who has seen O Brother, Where art Thou?).

I like some of the songs better than others, but to tell the truth there really isn't a bad track on this album. It's a superb collection that not only gives the listener a feel for the times, but also pays tribute to styles of music that, in spite of their monumental influence, are now either only remembered primarily in small circles of particularly dedicated musicians (in the case of Blues music) or are virtually forgotten (in the case of American Folk music).

For those interested in American culture between the World Wars or just interested in music history, The Blues Preachers are definitely worth looking into. I do recommend that you give them a listen.

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