Monday, January 9, 2012

Runnin’ With Scissors In Your Hand reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

Runnin’ With Scissors In Your Hand
Rich Berry
Catseye Productions
Liberty Street Records
10 tracks/36:56

Recently in Quincy, my wife Alice and I were able to see Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altarboys do their fine job of playing the blues. This was at a Blues in the District show at Washington Park. They gave the large crowd present a great evening of blues. The next day we were also able to see Rich Berry, from Kansas City, do four sets of Delta acoustic blues. I had not seen Rich for three years so this event was a big treat. Rich also put his whole blues career on the line and let me sit in on harmonica for one tune.
“Runnin’ With Scissors In Your Hand” is Berry’s 5th CD release; all of these have been well received by blues fans. “Headin’ South On A Delta Breeze” was voted the traditional style blues album of 2009 by Berry is very well known in the Kansas City area and stays busy playing the blues and also doing Blues In The Schools programs. Besides playing the National steel and acoustic guitars, Rich plays harmonica, sings, keeps the beat going on the porch box and writes all his tunes. While playing cover tunes he has a way of putting his own style into them. His many influences include Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Son House, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf to name a few.

“Runnin’ With Scissors In Your Hand” is one fine recording of the 10 Richard Sailsbury, AKA Rich Berry, penned tunes on this CD. These are a group of stories of life, hardship, love, joy and just tales of the blues as told by Rich Berry. This album opens with Rich showcasing his fine National slide guitar playing on “Killin’ Me By Degree”. This is a tale about a love gone astray. “Give me your love, then take it away, you’re killing me by degree” tells us that this tune is a trip into the blues. Rich’s lyrics need to be listened to with intent as he puts a lot of meaning into each song. Berry is a wire rack harp player, which is not an easy task. He does a heck of a good harp solo on this tune. He has a bunch of good things going on with his style of playing both guitar and harp.

The title track, “Runnin’ With Scissors In Your Hand”, has Rich doing his thing with the acoustic guitar and his harp again. Rich, to me, shows us that he has his own style of playing harmonica. This is a good way to go, I like it. This tune has a steady blues groove going for it. There is another love going wrong story  for us all to listen to. It has to be one weird feeling to be with someone and feel as if the relationship is like runnin’ with scissors in my hand”. This insight into life is what Rich Berry’s song writing is all about.
Meeting Rich Berry and his wife, Cathy, has been a great blues experience for me. These two are really blue lovers trying to keep the blues and live music going down the highway. They are doing their part to do so. “Runnin’ With Scissors In Your Hand” is a great example of their dedication to the blues. Rich’s CD’s are available from PayPal.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

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