From a very young age, I found myself being lifted by the sound of it.
Hearing John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" as a child set the stage for a life devoted to music and in recent years, increasingly to the Blues. There has always been something in the sound of a propulsive rhythm driving a "blue" melody that has helped me connect to a power greater than myself. As a boy, I had concluded that the Blues went deeper than other musical forms. In later years, I recognized this as the sound of redemption, which can soothe a longing spirit saddled by earthly burdens.
Paradoxically, I believe that to play "the Devil's Music" is an act of faith. It requires patience, focus, and devotion. To play the Blues is the expression of a relationship with a higher power. To sing with one's soul, to play with one's heart, to make one's self vulnerable before the world is an act of surrender, which is born on the plane of inspiration.
I hear the Blues as the sound of a soul reaching for oneness with the universe. This sound brings me closer to my maker, to myself and to my fellows. Yes, it has been called the Devil's music, but to me, the Blues is a gateway to the divine kingdom.
released September 26, 2014
Recorded live to tape and mixed by Ryan Lee Crosby
"Special Rider Blues" recorded and mixed by Adam Taylor
Mastered by Scott Craggs at Old Colony
Design and portrait by Michael Hutcherson; cover image, Highway 61, Outside Clarksdale, MS by Nicoline Valkenberg