Tom Rigney - Back Porch Blues (2008)

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Tom Rigney - Back Porch Blues (2008)
Artist: Tom RigneyTitle: Back Porch BluesYear Of Release: 2008Label: ParhelionGenre: Blues Country, Blues Folk, Louisiana TraditionsQuality: 320 kbpsTotal Time: 50:18Total Size: 119 MB

1. Back Porch Blues (3:23)
2. Happy Home (3:55)
3. Shake Rattle And Roll (4:24)
4. Rigo's Blues (4:16)
5. Right Now Blues (3:52)
6. Windowpane Blues (3:42)
7. It's A Blessing (4:53)
8. California Blues (3:16)
9. Solid Gone (3:44)
10. Swamp Beat Boogie (3:11)
11. Drivin' That Thing (4:17)
12. Struttin' It Up (3:52)
13. Back Porch Blues (Reprise) (3:26)

Tom Rigney has not been an easy artist to categorize. The violinist/singer has focused on what is loosely defined as "roots music," but he hasn't embraced one type of roots music specifically -- and along the way, Rigney has played everything from Cajun music to bluegrass. Back Porch Blues, it turns out, favors a mixture of pre-World War II country blues and pre-World War II country (with elements of 1920s and '30s jazz at times). This early 2009 release makes it clear that Rigney has spent a lot of time listening to recordings from the '20s and '30s, and he celebrates that era with inspired performances of material ranging from the Mississippi Sheiks' "Drivin' That Thing" to Jimmie Rodgers' "California Blues" and the Carter Family's "Solid Gone." Country doesn't get much more old-time than Rodgers and the Carter Family -- they were among the giants of country's pre-honky tonk, pre-Hank Williams, pre-Ernest Tubb era -- so the inclusion of those gems is quite appropriate for an album that is so mindful of pre-World War II music. That said, Rigney isn't being a purist when it comes to saluting that time. Charles Calhoun's "Shake Rattle and Roll," another highlight of Back Porch Blues, wasn't written until 1954 -- and the moody instrumental "Rigo's Blues" (a Rigney original) owes a lot to '60s and '70s soul-blues. Further, the fact that Rigney uses acoustic instruments extensively on this album doesn't mean that he uses them exclusively. But none of those things are problematic; actually, Rigney's lack of "purity" is a big part of the fun. Even though Back Porch Blues is, to a large degree, a shout out to the 1920s and 1930s, the fact that Rigney doesn't forget about the '50s, '60s, and '70s adds to the intrigue. Back Porch Blues is an excellent CD that Rigney should be proud to have in his catalog. ~by Alex Henderson

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