Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bernie Pearl -- "Take Your Time"

If you love the great blues and folk music from the early 60s through the early 70s, go to you tube and search for "Live at Ash Grove Los Angeles." You can hear music by Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Albert Collins, and Big Mama Thornton. Well, when all those great musicians were playing at the Ash Grove, Bernie Pearl was there too. Bernie's brother Ed ran the Ash Grove from 1958 to 1973, and many of the musicians that played there also taught Bernie as they passed through.

Bernie Pearl is one of my favorite guitar players. When Bernie plays and/or sings, he is not a retro player--he uses everything he has learned along the way to the service of the songs. Bernie has been releasing his own cds at least as far back as 2002, and his newest cd, "Take Your Time," (Bee Bump Music, 2013) is a complete blues' lover's delight. "Take Your Time" is nominated by the Blues Blast Music Awards for "Best Acoustic Album." Featuring Bernie on guitars and vocals along with long-time bassist Mike Berry, this disc also features the extraordinary Barbara Morrison on vocals and Albert Trepagnier Jr on percussion and Bobby "Hurricane" Spencer on tenor sax.

Everything is clear from the first song, "Worried Life Blues." Great finger picking by Bernie, his warm and relaxed vocal this time in a duet with Barbara. Albert adds just the right amount of percussion and Mike's bass is clean. There's no star turn, no rushing, no note out of place--what you hear are professional musicians presenting a great song. You feel like you're right there in the room with them.

And that's the way it rolls for all of the 14 songs. Excellent, just excellent. After you hear it all once I'm sure you'll listen to it again. This cd is dedicated to the memory of Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson. 

You can buy this cd, and all of Bernie's cds, at



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