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Rich Berry - Headin’ South On a Delta Breeze


11 tracks/38:01

When you think about Kansas City, what first comes to your mind may be good barbeque. Well, in addition to good barbeque, there also happens to be a bluesman there who can play and sing traditional folk blues who just might surprise you. Rich Berry has played music regionally for over 40 years and he’s lately been on the move to perhaps become a national act. He participated in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009 in addition to playing a lot of festivals over the last few years. His style is traditional acoustic blues and his stated and obvious influences were the masters of the Mississippi Delta and Chicago blues.

Berry sings and plays both guitar (acoustic and resonator with slide) and harp. 10 of the 11 tracks feature Rick playing and singing solo while the other one includes Jim Brown on bass. His guitar picking is nicely done and the harp is clean and bright. His voice gives his music a lonely, airy tone with headiness, which fits the tone of most of songs; they tend to be about loves lost, gained, regained, maintained or destroyed. Ah, the blues!

“The Devil Takes Care of His Own” is a spiffy little song about…well, you can guess what it’s about. He sings that he’s carrying a mojo with him (the old black cat’s bone) and a Saint Christopher medal that all hang from his mike and that have been blessed by a voodoo queen. But he claims he’s still looking over his shoulder because “The Devil Takes Care of His Own.” In another nice cut, he owns up to his responsibilities in bad relations and admits in song and title, “I’ve Got No Alibi.” “Make a Fuss” is another great track and there are 8 other equally good tracks, not overly complex, but all just straight up and regular blues that are executed by man who really seems to enjoy playing and singing.

Rick’s songs are about his life, your life, my life, anyone’s life. They are filled with simple complaints, pleas, wishes, hopes and dreams; a regular guys’ life’s set of woes and pleasures. He sounds as if he’s your neighbor, strumming while blowing harp or singing. Pop a beer or grab soft drink, get a chair or comfy seat, turn on this CD and sit back and relax to the blues in a neighborly way as it was, is and always will (or at least should) be!

Reviewer Steve Jones is Secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

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