A three-time Blues Music Award winner for Acoustic Artist Of The Year, MacLeod also deserves the B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year conferment. His concerts, with between-song stories as essential as the tunes, can make you laugh, shudder, cry, and, most important, think.
He’s an atypical blues musician, in that he only performs material he’s written – reasoning that bluesmen from Blind Boy Fuller to Elmore James were singer/songwriters. Besides the typical “my baby left me” subject matter, there’ve been examples of blues singers tackling social and political issues, from Leadbelly to J.B. Lenoir to Robert Cray. But even though statistics vary from one in three to one in six, MacLeod is perhaps the only bluesman to address childhood sexual abuse, which he openly talks about from his own experience growing up. That’s the chain, too often handed down generations, he means to break in the title song – which he co-wrote with his son, Jesse, who joins him here.
Normally in one with his National Resophonic, MacLeod is tastefully accompanied by Jimi Bott’s drums, Denny Croy’s bass, and Oliver Brown’s percussion. The eclectic repertoire is far from “heavy,” as the rocking’ “Goin’ Down To The Roadhouse” amply illustrates. Recommended – higher than highly!
This article originally appeared in VG February 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.