Now on PBS
by Roy Book Binder
Feature Records for the week beginning Mon 22 Jul 2013
Roy Book Binder was born October 5, (Queens, New York), in 1943 is a laconic living treasure of American Blues, Ragtime and Old Timey music. He is the epitome of the singing, song writing, storytelling Bluesman troubadour. Binder from the early sixties became a student and friend of the Rev. Gary Davis and it was from these early days he became equally at home with Blues and Ragtime. He is known to shift from open tunings to slide arrangements set to his original and sometimes quirky tongue in cheek compositions, with both traditional and self-styled licks, drawing on many musical influences. He combines his Blues with Hokum, Dixie Jazz licks, Yas Yas styling's, recited lines, Old Timey acoustic Hill Country music with ease. It is this storey telling style that he is renowned for. Binder is much revered and has shared the stage with a luminary of some of the biggest Roots artists around the world. He also is a guitar teacher of note and most of his compositions relate back to his time as chauffeur and companion to Rev. Gary Davis. With his latest release Book Binder once again delivers just what he does best. ""The Good Book"" on Binder's own label Peg Leg Records presents 10 quality self penned compositions all delivered in his laconic style. Tracks are,,,,,,,
1. ""The Good Book"", harkens back to the days on the road with Rev Gary Davis. Storey telling at it's finest punctuated with his stunning guitar. Finger picking by Binder and Lap Steel from Damon Fowler.
2. ""It Coulda Been Worse"" is a fun Hokum style ditty about his gal all delivered with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Once again a feature of this track is the array of guitar styles on show.
3. ""Step Right Up"". Welcome to the snake oil salesman delivered in Binders very best appropriate convincing style. Frank Bowman's clarinet punctuates the New Orleans Dixie style Rag.
4. ""Full Go Around"". A musical tribute to those that have gone. A reminder that we are here for a short time and must leave our mark. Again Binder's finger picking and Damon Fowler's lap shine.
5. ""Poker Playing Papa"". A story of life through Binder's eyes of what is important. A good woman, a poker game and his guitar. Mind you it might not be in that order. Featuring Binder's finger picking and the now recognisable clarinet of Frank Bowman.
6. ""Crazy About You"" departs from the Hokum Jazz styling's we are presented with some Hill Country Blues with some fine harp playing from Norwegian Erik ""Spanky"" Bergene. An engaging story of life's ups and downs when one is in love.
7. ""What You Gonna Do"". A stylish return to the Dixie Jazz side of Binder. Showcasing Binder's understated guitar and wonderful clarinet flourishes from Frank Bowman. This one asks your advice in matters of the heart and offers some answers but leaves many unanswered.
8. ""They Called Him Jr"" is a wonderful Blues shuffler tribute to Robert ""Junior"" Lockwood who learnt from Blues legend Robert Johnson. This stunning tribute calls on the memory of the great Blues artists of the South. A fitting tribute.
9. ""Electric Cigarette Blues"". This is a real Hokum style romp with the Western Swing style lap steel of Damon Fowler. A vintage look at a modern aspect of life. Having not smoked for some years Binder has relied on one of these gadgets. Once again delivered in his unique up-tempo frenetic paced style. Tongue in cheek once again.
10. ""Hackshaw"". The Good Book finishes with a instrumental tribute to Delta Bluesman Richard ""Hacksaw"" Harney whom Robert ""Junior"" Lockwood held in the highest esteem. Hacksaw had roomed with Binder in the early 70's when he was re-discovered by the music world. This is a rollicking romper.
All compositions have been composed by Book Binder and it shows in their wonderful smile inducing delivery. You cannot listen to this cd and not want to get up and jig or take up a jug and blow your heart out. The playing is an absolute highlight that just may encourage you to drag out that old guitar of yours. It may be a modern recording but it is one truly rooted in the twenties and thirties and as such highlights a rollicking style of music neglected in our high paced world. Have a listen and you wont be disappointed.
by Mr. Doo-Wop - Malt Shop Hop, every Wednesday at 11am
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