Shine Eyed Mister Zen by Kelly Joe Phelps | 14431047626 | CD | Barnes & Noble
Shine Eyed Mister Zen

Shine Eyed Mister Zen

by Kelly Joe Phelps
     
 
With his gravelly voice and deft touch on slide guitar, Kelly Joe Phelps reaches deep into the heart of country blues and comes back with their essence. The dark, haunting ambiance of the Delta infuses his interpretations of "Dock Boggs Country Blues" and the folk ballad "House Carpenter," as well as the tale of "River Rat Jimmy."

Overview

With his gravelly voice and deft touch on slide guitar, Kelly Joe Phelps reaches deep into the heart of country blues and comes back with their essence. The dark, haunting ambiance of the Delta infuses his interpretations of "Dock Boggs Country Blues" and the folk ballad "House Carpenter," as well as the tale of "River Rat Jimmy." Phelps's combination of primal blues wisdom and his flair for contemporary songwriting rank him with top country blues masters such as Chris Smither and Rory Block. SHINE EYED MISTER ZEN closes the gap between the smoky midnight jazz of John Coltrane (Phelps was formerly a free-jazz bassist) and the twists and turns of Mississippi Fred McDowell's Delta mysticism, yet it's shot through with traces of hillbilly music, gospel, and country. With each turn of phrase -- lyrical and instrumental -- Phelps's music discovers a new crossroads of imagination and follows it all the way down.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael Gallucci
Phelps' third album is an accomplished serving of country blues that combines the sweet and sour power of his guitar playing with the equally bittersweet charge of Phelps' wearied voice. Shine Eyed Mister Zen features a lot of singing, but most importantly it spotlights the singing of Phelps' slide guitar, which integrates a humid and natural style that invokes the mystery and religion that these mostly original songs lean toward. The dusty delta Phelps conjures here is at once familiar and nostalgic; it's to his credit that Phelps is able to add his own voice to the spiritual mix. A mystical and unaffected recording.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/13/1999
Label:
Rykodisc
UPC:
0014431047626
catalogNumber:
10476

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