Events

Red Hot Blues

The first CD from local bluesician Paris James harks back to the back-porch country blues of the 1920s, when players like Blind Blake and Blind Lemon Jefferson were finger-picking through a mix of folk, gospel hymns, and Delta blues. The sounds of spirituals and the South that dominate James' CD aren't surprising when you consider he was born inside a Florida church and had one grandfather who ran the largest black Baptist church in Florida and another who ran bootleg liquor through the backwoods. So James' songwriting isn't born of some imagined place or notions of standard song subjects within the blues genre — this is the real deal. James' style is straight-up no-frills, with only guitar for instrumentation. On "Folk Tales," James' voice takes on a mournful wail over soft slide guitar, as he tells the story of a man who wants to bring his lover back from the dead. The CD's title track, "Death Letter," is a low-key dirge that would almost sound like an old slave spiritual if it weren't for the eerie minor guitar chords reminiscent of 1940s blues picker Skip James (no relation). Other tracks, like "32-20 Blues," have more of an upbeat, boogie-woogie strut, while instrumentals like "Ride That Tide" showcase James' adroit acoustic plucking.
Fri., Oct. 10, 2008
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea