Back To Reviews page

Bill Sims Jr. & Mark LaVoie - American Blues Roots Duo

Delta Groove Productions  

Acoustic blues is one of music's most difficult idioms to master. Free from the bombast of loud guitars and pounding drums, it requires an almost Zen-like approach that aspires to be simple and profound at the same time. An excellent example of some folks getting it right is the acoustic duo of guitarist Bill Sims Jr.. and harmonica player Mark LaVoie. On their latest release, American Blues Roots Duo, Sims and LaVoie lay down some of the sweetest country blues heard in these parts in quite some time.

Their sound is down home, back porch, crossroads, and hellhounds all at once and takes listeners back to a time before electricity turned the blues up loud, when feel and soul were everything, and when most musicians played simply because playing felt good. Between them, Sims and LaVoie have played with legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and many more, another indicator that they are doing something right.

The songs here are classics and are treated to fine renditions accenting the interplay between Sims? smooth vocals and LaVoie's deeply soulful harp playing. The key to this album is truly taking one's time in listening and digesting what is really going down. There is much genius here, but, because of the quiet nature of this style, it can be easy to miss.

Those with the patience to prospect here will be rewarded with a set of songs that show us what the beginnings of the music we love sounded like and how valid this stuff still is. Highlights include "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad", "Must Have Been The Devil", and "Telephone Blues".

EDITOR'S NOTE: This CD is only available via iTunes down load from the Delta Groove website. CLICK HERE for more info.

Reviewer Mike O'Cull is a noted Chicago music writer and Blues Blast contributor. Visit his MySpace page at:

 To submit a review or interview please contact:

Home  |  Contact  |  Submit Your Blues News - Advertise with
 Copyright - 2007 - Design by: