The blues means different things to different people. There are adherents to the classic artists like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, etc. There are those who prefer more rock with their blues, like Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc. Ask musicians and audience alike what real blues is, and stand back for an emotionally extended debate that will never end.
Listen to Jeff Magidson’s new album, though, and everyone will agree it is authentic, unvarnished blues, played with a stunning elegance, understated passion, and a combination of roots and innovation that will keep the listener coming back for more.
Jeff’s musical roots go back to his beginnings. He was born into a musical family, and has been playing one instrument or another most of his life. When he found the guitar, he was heavily influenced by Lowell George, Ry Cooder and Johnny Winter, echoes of which come through in his playing. But there is no imitation here. Jeff’s voice and guitar are strictly his own, a fact that shines through on every track of this album. It’s a rare combination of raw feeling, technical mastery, and imagination. You won’t hear another guitar player do what Jeff is doing.
He celebrates life in all its colors, from being a house husband to lighting a candle for a departed friend. All of the songs have a tinge of New Orleans to them, but also roots in classic blues form to old school funk and R&B. Each one is a different emotional landscape, from joy to annoyance to deep sorrow. But all ring true to his life, and to ours. And that, to my mind, is the essence of real blues.
– Jim Caroompas