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Bob Broozman - Blues ReflexBob Broozman - Blues Reflex
2005 Ruf Records

Blues Reflex is a new and all acoustic album that features Bob’s jaw dropping talent on several National guitars, Bear Creek 7 string Hawaiian guitars, Weissenborn Hawaiian guitars, a baglama, as well as percussion, vocals and so much more. This album was influenced by his worldwide travels yet pays homage to his elders and influences. This is a disc full of creative styles, tones, and originality. It’s a nice way to blend the old with the new Bob Brozman style.

All stringed and percussion instruments are played by Bob Brozman except the drums on tracks 2, 11 and 12 by Gregg Graber.

1. DEAD CAT ON THE LINE – starts with 1929 spoken word prelude by Rev. J.M. Gates, guitar work really gets cooking about mid way through and the song leaves you wanting more

2. RATTLESNAKE BLUES- some guitar slapping and sliding and moaning make you feel like you’re hearing it live

3. ONE STEADY ROLL- a wild combination of a waltz and a shuffle blended with scat lyrics and two National Tricones going in sega rhythm

4. DEATH COME CREEPIN’– a reinvention of Tommy Johnson’s classic with a 1997 Baritone Tricone and a 1929 Tricone – would have enjoyed just one guitar but that’s just me

5. VIEUX KANYAR BLUES- Creole phrase which means: “old musician – wildman”, this is a masterful modern day blend of two Kona Hawaiian guitars, the National Baritone Tricone and percussion all played by Bob

6. POOR ME- original slow style of Charlie Patton’s classic with new lyrics and completely different guitar sounds, some crazy slides and eerie guitar licks in there, really enjoyable!

7. CYPRESS GROVE BLUES- Skip James classic played in Bob’s blended upbeat shuffle style

8. LITTLE TOUGH GUY BLUES-a raw bar like solo played on the Kona, lap style with one finger that is unbelievable!

9. NEW GUINEA BLUES- travel inspired original with a weird 5 guitar Papa New Guinea plucking style – different yet interesting

10. IT’S MERCY WE NEED- deep minor blues all solo on the National Baritone Tricone, reminded me of a Harry Manx creation in a way

11. MEAN WORLD BLUES- a modern day reworking of Tommy Johnson’s “Canned Heat Blues” with new lyrics, very enjoyable!

12. MORE ROOM AT THE EDGE- a trippy, worldly creation that has every instrument listed above being played at some point and even some Chinese temple blocks to boot-

13. WORKMAN’S SONG- a folky Hawaiian sounding gem that had me totally spacing out

Bob is also an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Music, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Go check him out on the web at: www.bobbrozman.com

If you’re a fan of acoustic blues check it out and hear something fresh and out of the ordinary. I give this disc 4.0 out of 5 on my STLBluesometer rating.

Joseph "UJ" Miller
email :: uj@stlblues.net
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