How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Lowdown Blues means the same thing in any language. The acoustic music of nineteenth century gypsies expresses the same message. So do soulful ballads from many distant lands. An operatic moan or a folk lament can accomplish the same goals that came to us through pioneers such as Robert Johnson or W.C. Handy. Django Reinhardt knew that. Astor Piazzolla knew that. Many others from the four corners of the world have come to realize that their music shares its meaning and its core with the blues.
Ottawa guitarist James Cohen and his acoustic band deliver sensual music that captures the blues spirit from different angles. “The Lemming” and “High Side of Lowdown” carry a genuine flamenco flavor. “Tiny Monkeys” and “Blue Gypsy” come with shades of Django with Stephane Grappelli. Throughout the session, Cohen’s band improvises with spontaneity and passion. That passion, after all, is what makes sets the blues apart from other forms of music. When an artist is convincing, he can tell the stories with meaning. Whether the band is made up of Peruvian Pan pipes, Tibetan dulcimers, Indian tablas, or Australian didgeridoos, each organization has the power to convey meaning in a natural and convincing manner.
The acoustic timbres of Cohen’s band create a pure and natural aura that's sure to convince even the most skeptical blues purist.