John Campbelljohn Under The Blue Covers

When Cape Breton’s John Campbelljohn landed some studio downtime back in ’95, he decided to have some fun, resulting in this clear-minded collection of blues favourites that, although unreleased at the time, has become his biggest selling record to date. This is honest, bread and butter blues — the music that carries him from venue to venue, but played by someone who has refined his skills to the point of adding a distinctive imprint to each time-honoured cover. The fact that this was recorded devoid of pressures may account for its appeal — its basic arrangements of bass, drums, piano/organ, vocals, guitar and harp translate to clean, spirited, readings of T-Bone Walker, Willie Dixon, Fred McDowell, BB King and Big Bill Broonzy. Expert musicians playing electric blues with conviction and confidence as a highly relaxed Campbelljohn adds his seasoned voice and sly, sinewy slide to numbers like Big Joe Williams’s "Baby Please Don’t Go” and Fred McDowell’s "You Gotta Move.” Truly a sophisticated sampling of good blues played well. These covers are the kind you’ll want to stay under. (Hepcat)