Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Frank "Paris Slim" Goldwasser

bluju

2007-03-12

Paris isn’t the first city that usually comes to mind in the list of birth places for bluesmen. Hell, it isn’t even in the top hundred. This release reveals that the blues can sprout up anywhere the sweet sound of a blues guitar can land. In this case, Hound Dog Taylor’s classic "Natural Boogie" found its way into the hands of young Parisian Frank Goldwasser who fell under its spell. By the time he was 21 Goldwasser was gigging with Sonny Rhodes and moved to the states where he perfected his blues craft alongside Lowell Fulson, Percy Mayfield, Jimmy McCracklin and a host of others. The 15 cuts collected here demonstrate a gift for the blues that many a stateside bluesman would envy. With raw, fearless takes on two Hound Dog Taylor cuts, "She’s Gone" and "55th Street Boogie", straight up covers of Elmore James’ "Twelve Year Old Boy", Jimmy Reed’s "I’m a Love You" and Philip Walker’s "Playing in the Park", as well as a host of originals, Goldwasser covers a lot of blues territory. The disc gets off to a banging start with the monster groove of "Feels Like Home" which features ample doses of smooth guitar and sly, sexy background vocals. Elsewhere, Goldwasser mixes things up with guest guitarists Alex Schultz and Kirk Eli Fletcher who push him in inspired directions as they work each other over with riff after stinging riff. Goldwasser is also willing to turn down the heat a bit: check out his eerie, electrified acoustic work on "Don’t Take Away My Love" or his homage to Oakland’s late night blues scene, "Three Sisters", which will have you reaching for the nightcap and lighting the last smoke of the night. While this is certainly a guitar disc, Goldwasser’s vocals fit in nicely and there’s enough soulful horn charts, b-3 grooves and background vocals to hold the attention of those who don’t live or die by six strings. Keep an eye on this guy. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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