Twenty First Century Blues
If you prefer your blues straight ahead with no frills, played the way it should be, then the Bottleneck Blues Band may just be up your alley. The group is made up of four long-time friends who have been enjoying performing for fans and friends for the past four years in local venues such as The Blue Diamond, The Stickman Brewery, The Lehrer and Biddy McGraw’s as well as a few festivals like Hempfest and the Kalama Blues Festival. Led by guitarist/vocalist Noah Bell and keyboard master Seth Zowader, the quartet is completed with the solid rhythm section of drummer Devon Shazier and bassist Dave Cushman.
Twenty First Century Blues is the first release from the Bottleneck Blues Band and most of the tracks were first take recordings, as stated on their website, which make for a true sampling of the way the band actually sounds live. The delivery is authentic. There is no over-embellishment that you’re likely to find with a lot of newer acts these days, and because there is no over-playing you are treated to a steady pulse that is raw and natural. Everything flows nicely. The sound mixes well throughout with the individual soloist brought to the forefront when appropriate and the solos work exceptionally well as noted on tunes like “Riverboat Blues” with Zowader and Bell trading the lead spots, and also Bell’s slide on “Jack & Jill.” The disc opens with a short Delta styled acoustic run on guitar that leads into a more rockin’ pace with “Life Gets You Down.” The band can certainly display a lot of fresh angles to their blues approach and even give a bit of country taste on the song “Barstool” that features guest Jerry Aasen providing a little extra flair with his harmonica.
Bottleneck Blues Band are the perfect way to spend the night with the blues, whether catching them onstage at a club or by spinning the Twenty First Century Blues CD. The band wanted to pay tribute to the genre’s past and they got it right.
Total Time: 39:32
Where We Come From / Life Gets You Down / Jack & Jill / Say To You / Love Dat Girl / Downtown / Hold Me Down / Social Security Blues / Riverboat Blues / Barstool / You End Up With The Blues