Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Review: Robert Lighthouse - Deep Down in the Mud

Robert Lighthouse is originally from Sweden, and has been playing blues for nearly 20 years in and around Washington DC/Baltimore. He presents a loving history lesson of the blues in his second cd "Deep Down in the Mud" (2007, Right On Rhythm). The first half of the cd is acoustic guitar, harmonica and high hat--a one man band. He starts things off with two Robert Johnson covers and the delta-influenced original "Stuck in the Mud." The title track is about Hurricane Katrina, a Bob Dylan-esque folk blues. Unlike some other songs on this subject, it remains musical. The second half of the cd is electric, with a three piece band, recorded live at the Club Oxford in Washington DC. Lighthouse offers covers both well known and obscure--Muddy Waters' "Champagne and Reefer," Willie Dixon's "Meet Me in the Bottom," and two songs called "Red Hot Mama"--one by Elmore James done quite traditionally, and one by George Clinton done up in the funky Parliament style. The history lesson concludes with a 7 minute cover of Jimi Hendrix' "Spanish Castle Magic" which shows Lighthouse's impressive ability to play electric guitar--though it may be more rock than blues to some ears. But taken all together, this is a really good cd. He ranges widely through the blues and presents an authentic delta blues for this day and age. If you like this cd also check out Lighthouse's debut cd "Drive-Thru Love (1997, Right On Rhythm).

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