Swimming in Turpentineby Woodbrain
There is no shortage of electric blues-rock in the 21st century, but most of it doesn't have the strongly psychedelic outlook that Portland, OR's Woodbrain bring to Swimming in Turpentine. This early 2009 recording gets a lot of inspiration from the psychedelic blues-rock of the late '60s and early '70s -- psychedelic as in Jimi Hendrix, psychedelic as in Cream, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, and the Yardbirds, psychedelic as in early Led Zeppelin. Swimming in Turpentine has no problem transporting listeners back to that era, and it does so with absorbing results. But that isn't to say that this group's influences begin and end with Vietnam War-era blues-rock. Actually, one of the things that makes Swimming in Turpentine so appealing is the fact that Woodbrain are obviously well aware of the bluesmen who inspired those British and American psychedelic rockers back in the day. The blues didn't start with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, or Jeff Beck -- Clapton, Page, and Beck would be the first to tell you that -- and Woodbrain acknowledge many of the great bluesmen who did so much to pave the way for the psychedelic blues-rock explosion of the late '60s and early '70s. Electric Chicago blues (as in Chess Records, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, and Buddy Guy) is a strong influence on this album, and so is acoustic pre-World War II Mississippi Delta country blues (as in Robert Johnson, Son House, Bukka White, and Charley Patton). In fact, one of the highlights of this 60-minute CD is a memorable arrangement of White's "Shake 'Em on Down," although most of the other tracks are Woodbrain originals. And the influence of John Lee Hooker is an attractive part of the equation as well. The excellent Swimming in Turpentine leaves no doubt that Woodbrain's roots run deep.
- Release Date:
- Yellow Dog Records
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