Monday, January 9, 2012

Kid Man Blues reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

Kid Man Blues
Bert Deivert
Bert Deivert/Hard Danger Studio
12 tracks/45:41

Bert Deivert’s approach to the blues is definitely different than the mainstream blues player’s. He takes the blues somewhere else but remains bluesy. Originally from Boston, Bert has made Sweden his home base for now. This CD, “Kid Man Blues”, was recorded in Sweden, Bangkok, Thailand and Mississippi. Just hearing this fact lets us know that the music is going to have many influences. Deivert’s knowledge of guitar came from Skip James, Son House and Sleepy John Estes to name a few. Adding the mandolin to his repertoire also increase the vast knowledge of the blues that he has attained. Yank Rachell and Carl Martin style of mandolin playing are very evident in Bert’s music.

“Kid Man Blues” is really a treat for us that enjoy hearing the mandolin in blues. As Bert mentions the mandolin is a understated instrument in this genre of music. There does seem to be a resurgence going on with the fine players such as Rich DelGrosso, Billy Flynn and Gerry Hundt. “Kid Man Blues” is a good collection of tunes done by Sleepy John Estes, Son House, Carl Martin and other traditional blues artist.  Bert also added “Lulu” that he wrote. Deivert has taken each of these tunes made them his own musically and lyrically. He is present with both his mandolin and guitar on some tracks.

“Kid Man Blues”, the title track, gives us Bert’s mandolin skills on a fine slow tune by Carl Martin. This song also showcases Janne Zander adding his guitar to the mix of things. Listen carefully and you will also catch the fiddle of Steffan Jonsson in the background. This adds a diverse touch to the tune. The lyrics tell of a young man caught up with a older married women which is a real tale of the blues.

Included in the mix of songs are two outstanding instrumental tracks. “Lula” is a straight forward blues tune that has the late great Sam Carr on the drums. Bill Able and Fredrick Karlsson add their guitars to Bert’s mandolin playing making this tune a very pleasurable ride into the blues. “Nong-Harn Blues” features Dulyasit “Pong” Chandravuth on the Republic Resonator guitar. With Deivert’s mandolin chattering away in the background and the guitar playing from “Pong’ this tune picks up an Asian influence to it. This tune still retains a blues base to it while you listen to both musicians. RL Burnside’s “Goin’ Down South” is taken down a whole different path by Deivert. Here he plays both the mandolin and lap steel guitar, adds Janne Zander’s guitar and Nina Perez’s violin. This tune also treats us to Suchet Malhotra with his cajon, a box like drum, in the background. This track took me some plays to get into it but it is worth the trip.

Going into Bert Deivert’s world of blues is an experience that will grow on you. If you are stuck in the genre of pure full blown blues do not overlook a listen to “Kid Man Blues.”The mandolin is an instrument that has a big place in the blues genre. Thirty years of performing and 12 CD’s later has also earned Bert Deivert a place there.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

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