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Aug 042013
 

Post Industrial Blues

Post Industrial Blues

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Price: $ 6.89

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  3 Responses to “Post Industrial Blues”

  1. 7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    “…the looks we get are cold.”, December 5, 2007
    By 
    Pharoah S. Wail (Inner Space) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Post Industrial Blues (Audio CD)

    The Bob Brozman & Ruf Records brotherhood is now a very impressive 3 for 3. What a great album!

    Post-Industrial Blues is where Live in Germany and Blues Reflex meet Bob’s worldview put into words (though not every song is “political”). We’re also bathed in top-shelf playing/composing/arranging, and his touch/tone on some of my favorite instruments.

    The old english 7-string banjo does a ton for this album (though it’s not on every track). Old Man’s Blues mixes the banjo with the sanshin (Takashi’s main instrument on Jin Jin/Firefly and Nankuru Naisa) to great effect. Who’d have thought that a sanshin and an old english banjo would bring late-years Docks Boggs to my mind? Fresh from its starring role on Lumiere, the little baglama also appears beautifully on Lonely Children.

    With Look at New Orleans and Three Families Blues we get 2 original lyrics that may even surpass Rolling Through This World (still a favorite here in its 4th cd and/or dvd appearance in the past 5 or 6 years) for heavy emotional power. Beautiful, important stuff. Forget “politics”. This is about people and compassion before profit. And most importantly for an album of music, they’re songs I love.

    This is Bob’s album of the year for me. From the songs/music to the recording quality. It’s true that some of these songs tread different lyrical terrain than have past Brozman songs but this is still an album for anyone who loves Bob’s continuing, evolving notions of how pre-war music can live in the present without being beholden to precedent. This album is still about Nationals, and Bob being the man who brings the best of the ’20s, ’30s and early ’40s into the 21st Century with dignity, creativity, emotion and forward motion… without sentimentality or Museum Quality stagnancy. With ears that travel and learn from the world as well as look inward, if globalization has a bright spot… a guidepost to the way it ought to be happening… Brozman’s artistic output is it.

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  2. 7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Delicious Blues Triumph, November 21, 2007
    By 
    Mark D. Prouse “Dustyart” (Staten Island, NY) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Post Industrial Blues (Audio CD)

    This one seals the deal. Bob Brozman is a freakin’ genius! I love every album this guy ever made, but he’s topped himself here. This is one rompin’ stompin’ blues-jazz-roots record. Brozman may not be the greatest blues singer in the world, but he makes up for it one hundred percent with his instrumental abilities, and extraordinary composing and arranging skills (most of the material here is original). And his vocal work happens to be better here than it’s ever been. There is not a track on this album that is anything less than perfection, so I’ll just single out a few stunners:

    The first three tracks: Brozman’s music has always had something to say. Now we hear from the man himself; I’m sure his political opponents will hate this album, but its production values are only the start when describing the music itself. An avid guitar enthusiast and expert on National Guitars, this guy can play several instruments with skill and emotion. The blues is real, but he’s hip and contemporary. I never cared what his political views were, so knowing them now only cements my relationship with this guy’s artistry. Anyone opposed to this guy’s opinions, will of course object to the lyrics, but those who merely dislike political discourse of any stripe in their music, have no fear. The man’s touch is light, and often filled with humor. No dour folk troubedour, he, Mr. Brozman rocks and rolls his way through these opening numbers, never letting up from then on. He had me hooked right away, so the wild variety of styles that followed had more than a chance.

    For this guy takes risks. His first openly political album, yet Brozman knows that the music itself doesn’t have to depress to get the message across. This is a continuously evolving rant during which Bob never forgets that the music has to be good to make anyone want to listen. “Lonely Children” is a particular revelation. How can a guy preach like this and still make it so good musically, that I want to return to its spell? The guy just rocks, and I’m there … incidentally, Lacy J. Dalton drops by for some backing vocals; nice.

    “Let’s Get It, Boy!” follows, and hops up one into a swing frenzy, before plunging the listener into a blues so harsh that it is unavoidable. On “Three Families Blues,” Bob’s anger is contagious. Intense. Little bit of vocoder work provides an unexpected reminder that Brozman knows how to use the tools of his trade, and he’s unafraid of bringing left field elements into the blues. Too cool, but not so much as to dampen the potent stories being told.

    Relief arrives right after in a haunting little instrumental ditty called “Strange Ukekle Blues,” composed, according to the CD liner notes during a break between recording takes of another song. Brozman’s love of Hawaiiana nearly always finds its way into any of his projects, and often, he hits you by surprise. I never mind (I’m a Sol Hoopii fan, after all), but by now it definitely doesn’t matter what Bob proposes. I’ll go along, whatever … and this one’s sweet, but kinda rocks, too.

    A few different, typical Brozman blues styles follow, and then … “People Are Strange,” the Doors hit. Brilliant cover, and a total surprise. As the next-to-last track in a generous album of musical pyrotechnics, Brozman’s earned the right to do whatever he damn well pleases (and yes, I love what he does with this).

    Anyone who gives a damn about country blues guitar should at least give Brozman a serious listen (and I dare anyone who likes this kind of music to “just eat one). He’s got rhythm, phrasing, and melody down to an elemental excellence that can’t be denied. Often, when a seasoned artist reaches past expectations, a critic will say, “this is very good, but first-timers should start with…” The norm does not apply here. This is as good a place to start as any. Then, if you’re smitten, get DEVIL’S SLIDE or BLUE HULA STOMP. The recent LUMIERE is Bob in a “World Music” mode (his “orchestra” is mostly made up of many Bob’s), and BLUES REFLEX is close to the perfection offered on POST-INDUSTRIAL BLUES.

    I am biased; Bob Brozman makes me smile.

    I’ll say one more thing: this guy is modern and cool, but knows his history. He’s roots in a real way, but he’s not afraid to mix it up and make it play to the here-and-now.

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  3. 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Mostly first rate, December 10, 2007
    This review is from: Post Industrial Blues (Audio CD)

    Okay, first for a disclaimer: I’m a National guitar junky. (Whenever you read a review about a Bob Brozman project, you have to separate the resophonic guitar geeks from those who just like good music. The former just can’t retrain their praise for this man’s musicianship, but it might not suit the needs of the later.)

    First, as always, you have to ignore Bob’s singing style. It’s sort of cross between Dean Martin and someone playing the saw. (Maybe not exactly Dean Martin, but definitely a saw.) He reminds me of Leon Redbone, the guy who did the beer commercials in the 1980s. I mean, if a band needed just a lead singer, Bob wouldn’t get the call. Sorry, Bob….

    But, I must say that on several tracks, Bob restrains the strange vocal lilt he brings to his songs. I’ll bet this was unintentional, but it was a relief because sometimes his singing gets in the way of the lyrics, and of course his great ability at playing several instruments.

    Now, why did I give this new CD four stars?

    First, with all the turmoil in the world, much of it caused by our country, Bob has produced a genuine protest album! The opening songs, Follow the Money and Look at New Orleans, two Brozman originals, express the anger of millions of Americans. (Too bad only a few thousand will probably hear these songs.) And the playing in Look at New Orleans is quite haunting. Kudos, Bob!

    Next, (well, a couple of tracks later), Bob switches gears and plays a swing number called Shafafa. Follow that with Lonely Children (the title says it all) and Three Family Blues (a song about the effects of war), and you see that Bob has some things to say, and his lyrics do it very well.

    The entire CD contains displays of Bob’s amazing musicianship. Countless time he makes me ask, “how did he do that?” In Strange Ukulele Blues, he actually plays a resophonic uke in almost a Flamingo style. Amazing! And he opens Rolling Through the World, in which he plays a National baritone tricone (that’s the geek in me talking) with a set of chords and flourish that’s pure, well, Brozman. When I heard this tune for the first time, I kept hitting the “replay” button; I listened to the incredible opening several times before I played the entire song. Yes, he had me asking, “How’d he do that?”

    The second to last track on the CD is the Doors song, People Are Strange. It sounds like it might be interesting and fun, but it’s not. It’s sort of a cross between the Doors and the Munsters. It would be great for a psychedelic Halloween party, but not much else. (As the reso geeks know, Bob’s main guitar contains the inscription, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” That applies to this track.)

    On balance, if you know Bob Brozman and appreciate what he does, you’ll love this CD (Four stars.) If you don’t know him and have know interest in more avant garde music or blues, you might be happier listening to something else.

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