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Glenn KAISER – Ripley County Blues 2002

Posted in BLUES, Glenn KAISER on December 5, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Glenn KAISER – Ripley County Blues 2002

Blues

Nobody cranks the blues like Glenn Kaiser.  Face it, he’s the Eric Clapton of Christian music.  Nobody is bigger or better.  His voice, divinely blessed with a dash of gravel, is perfect for the proper blues delivery.  He fingers the frets of his instruments as if he was born with them attached.   And his interpretation of traditional blues is so inspiring you almost forget he’s white.

Is Ripley County Blues his best blues effort?  Possibly.  The opening cut (“Nick of Time”) is a rip-roaring rocker that hearkens back to 1994’s Spontaneous Combustion.  But you know it s going to moan and sweat (the recipe to a great blues record) when blue or blues are found in the titles of three cuts.  And let me tell you, this thing groans the blues.  It’s good.  Real good.

The problem is pinning this beast down.  Like a hound dog on the hunt, Kaiser enjoys chasing the blues.  All types of blues. From the traditional (“Do Lord” and “Take Your Stand”) to the memorable R&B of “I Got My Eyes On You.” Kaiser’s got plenty of toe-tappers that sizzle like a sultry summer day (“Workday Blues” and “Runaway Train” ).  Yet many of the cuts are stripped down, harmonica-laced smoky blues ( “Ripley County Blues,” “Keep It To Yourself,” and “Deliver Me” ) that harness their own special heat.

Of course, a Kaiser blues lick means little without his knack for crafting a fine lyric.  Some songs paraphrase scripture, such as the beatitudes in “Promises He’ll Keep.”     “Runaway Train” in particular lays some great tracks:

Blowing in the night
Eyes wide open
Sin in broad daylight
Swallow till your chokin

Sowed all the oats
Up came the weeds
Thought I smelled sulfur
From all my deeds

I wanted pleasure
Didn’t worry how
Up came the mirror
Out came the howl

Is this Kaiser’s best blues album?  Not in my mind.  He’s done better, for me.  If you want blistering blues riffs, Spontaneous Combustion remains a standard.  If you hunger for no-holds-barred southern-fried rockers, Carolina Moon is sumptuous.  But Ripley County Blues is an honest work.  Like an old pair of blue jeans, it wears well. And for those who enjoy more traditional blues (with a few heaters in between), this one has a leg up.
By Rick Chromey.
**
01. Nick Of Time (3:37)
02. Blue Rain Fall (2:49)
03. Do Lord (4:26)
04. I Got My Eyes On You (4:17)
05. Ripley County Blues (4:35)
06. Keep It to Yourself (4:39)
07. Work Day Blues (3:12)
08. Deliver Me (3:27)
09. Playing With Fire (2:38)
10. Runaway Train (5:52)
11. Promises He’ll Keep (1:53)
12. This Child (4:13)
13. Mystery (3:17)
14. Take Your Stand (2:49)
**

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