Spoiler alert: While it’s early in the year, this album is already a shoe-in as one of the best blues offerings of 2021.
Tom Feldmann should need little introduction here, as VG called him “a jewel of American guitarmanship,” thanks to his past albums, a range of stellar how-to DVDs, and his fingerpicking lessons at www.vintageguitar.com. Here, he jams with just drummer Noah Levy.
The set kicks off with a scorching rendition of Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside’s “Poor Black Mattie.” Feldmann’s loping boogie riffs are in lockstep with Levy’s devilish drumming. Other tracks cover tunes by John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Belfour, and two Feldmann originals. You can almost smell the juke-joint dancers’ sweat and taste the moonshine.
Feldmann is a deep-blues virtuoso. His boogie figures and bottleneck-slide work conjure all the lowdown feeling, while Levy’s rhythms and fills drive it all deep into the dirt – these two are brothers in the mud, indeed! Simply put, blues don’t get much better than this.
This article originally appeared in VG’s July 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.