Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bernie Pearl -- "Sittin' on the Right Side of the Blues"

Bernie Pearl has a new cd! Those in the know need read no further--they're already going to get this disc. "Sittin' On the Right Side of the Blues" was recorded live at Boulevard Music, Culver City, on February 5, 2011 with Bernie on acoustic guitar and vocals, Mike Berry on upright bass. The song order was changed, but there are no overdubs. Pearl and Berry make beautiful acoustic music together, with abundant taste and style. This time out they feature several Mississippi Fred MacDowell songs, some Lightnin' Hopkins songs, Muddy Waters' "Can't Be Satisfied," Son House's "Shetland Pony Blues" the Baton Rouge artist Herman E Johnson's "I Just Keep On Wanting You," Mance Lipscomb's "Night Time Is The Right Time," and some Pearl originals. The cumulative effect is a sweet gentle musical blessing. Just listen.

The cd is just exactly what you get if you are lucky enough to be at Boulevard Music or one of the other clubs like Iva Lee's or Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ on a night when Bernie Pearl is playing. He learned everything he could about living the blues and playing the guitar beginning as a teen in the early 60s at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles, sitting at the feet of the greats like Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin' Hopkins, Fred MacDowell, John Hurt, Freddie King, Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker and many more. Bernie is now 70 years old, but he is still learning and teaching those lessons to everybody who will listen.

There are several great acoustic artists out there--Steve Howell comes to mind--musicologists using 6 strings and their voices to share the old truths and make them new. Bernie Pearl is as good as it comes. Just listen. And if you're ever near Culver City, California, head over to Boulevard Music and catch Bernie playing live. You'll thank me.

You can buy this cd at

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