108

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines: Moving to the Country

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Rishell (guitars) and Annie Raines (harmonicas and mandolin) are two of the most talented instrumentalists playing traditional blues today. For their superb first full album as a duo, I Want You to Know (1995), the Bostonians infused their music with various electric touches. Moving to the Country continues this trend, but not at the expense of tradition.

This second release again finds the pair playing ageless tunes by various blues pioneers (Jim Jackson, Memphis Minnie, Bo Carter, Leadbelly, Blind Blake, Joe Calicott), as well as some lively originals. About half the CD features a full band, while the other half showcases the duo in a sparer acoustic format. New this time are some overdubbed guitar parts by Rishell. Fortunately the overdubs do not detract in any way from the rootsy feel of the music.

Jim Jackson's sprightly 1927 song "Kansas City Blues" is propelled by Rishell's electric slide and Raines' recording debut on mandolin. Raines' real forte is harmonica, and a highlight here is her nifty blowing on the original boogie tune "Sweet Tooth." Raines blows some truly nasty harp throughout this album

Rishell is consistently good as well, but he shines brightest when he plucks his National Steel, as on Kansas City Joe McCoy's and Memphis Minnie's "My Washerman's Gone" and the ragtime-influenced original "Vanessa," written for his daughter. Whether its acoustic or electric guitar, Rishell knows his way around a fretboard.

Rishell and Raines even tackle a bluesy Django Reinhardt composition entitled "Tears," on which Raines plays Stephan Grappelli's violin parts on chromatic harmonica.

Neither Rishell nor Raines is a great vocalist, but each is more than capable. What distinguishes this music is the duo's heartfelt approach to traditional blues, not to mention their virtuoso musicianship. From electric originals to acoustic interpretations of 70-year-old songs, Moving to the Country is a terrific collection of traditional blues with a modern twist.

Rating *** 1/2 (out of ****)

TRACKS: Kansas City Blues; Moving to the Country; My Washerwoman's Gone; I Get the Blues; Keep Your Hands off Her; Sweet Tooth; Good Women Have Bad Days; Twist It Babe; Vanessa; Turning Corner; Sweet Jivin' Mama; Tears; Fare Thee Well

PLAYERS: Paul Rishell (guitars, vocals); Annie Raines (harmonica, mandolin, keys, vocals); Gordon Beadle (sax); Marty Richards (drums); Scott Shetler (sax); Jesse Williams (bass); Damian Purro (bass); Troy Gonyea (guitar)

| Record Label: Tone Cool Records | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Better Than Anything" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Anything
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Omío" CD/LP/Track Review Omío
by James Nadal
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by John Sharpe
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Skyjack" CD/LP/Track Review Skyjack
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "The Promise Of Happiness" CD/LP/Track Review The Promise Of Happiness
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!