Friday, July 23, 2010

Les Copeland "Don't Let The Devil In"

Les Copeland is a fine guitarist and an underrated vocalist. He hails from Canada, but the blues he bring to life on this disc really are universal. This album is Copeland's first release on Earwig. According to the label, it "showcases Les’ fine finger picking, melodic sensibility and chordal finesse, and his wry and ironic lyrical observations about everyday people." Copeland shows a talent for all kinds of songs here--sometimes he's doing Chicago blues, sometimes jazz, sometimes old-style country, and sometimes folk music, but always the music and vocals are clear and strong and honest. All the songs but one are Copeland originals. On several songs Copeland's slide guitar playing reminds me of Ry Cooder--especially on "Ry Cooder" and "Riding The Sky Train." And on "Ginseng Girl" and "Wet Paper Bag" Copeland shows that he has listened to Barney Kessel, spinning out gorgeous jazz melodies. On "I'm The Little One" he even sings a children's song, and on the next song "Everyday People" Copeland takes a very nice folkish turn. His singing voice reminds me of Jimmie Rodgers, especially on "What's Your Name," "Long Lost Love," and "Distant Train." All these comparisons are high praise.

Helping Copeland here are guest Hall of Fame bluesman David 'Honeyboy' Edwards on second guitar on two songs, "Anna Lee" and "How's That Drummer." And Honeyboy's manager, Michael Frank, contributes harmonica on three songs, "What's Your Name," "Silently," and the title track.

Les Copeland has made an interesting and quite good disc. You can buy it at Earwig Music. Http://

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