Monday, September 19, 2011

D'Mar & Gill -- Real Good Friend

I have to thank my friend Chris Puyear for hooking me up with this fine disc. He said the magic words--"Want to hear something a little different?" and I was hooked. Derrick "D'Mar" Martin on drums and percussion and backing vocals, Chris Gill on acoustic guitars and lead vocals--that's it. But these two master music makers carry you back to the 1930s in Mississippi, they show exactly how much can be created with just that spare instrumentation. And they do it with nine original songs and only one cover, Little Walter's "My Babe," which they re-create as a funky rumba. Of course, these are not your ordinary blues musicians. Derrick Martin has been a long-time session drummer, and for 15 years he played with Little Richard and Nu Funk. Chris Gill is the leader of the Sole Shakers and has a long career playing acoustic solo gigs. Together they create something altogether different than you might expect given their backgrounds--they play an acoustic, expressive, inventive and moody blues. "Every track presents a completely enriching musical experience cut live in the studio"--that's from the promo sheet, but it's right on the money. I was expecting something like an acoustic Moreland & Arbuckle, and what I found was not quite Moreland & Arbuckle--this is more like the roots music of Grant Dermody or Dave Gross. Here Martin weaves a deep pocket around the beat on a set of African drums. Gill works with a National steel guitar, or a National Tritrone guitar, and he sings off the beat, too, playing around that wonderful deep percussion. Everything is warm and well-played and thoughtful.

This cd would be good at your local Hi-Fi store, just so you can hear how wonderful those big-dollar speakers sound playing real music from honest-to-God musicians.

Just listen. You can buy this cd at

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