Eden & John's East River String Band Some Cold Rainy Day

If you’re an old time music artist there’s no greater endorsement you can receive than having Robert Crumb do your album artwork. While many will be tempted to pick up Some Cold Rainy Day for that reason alone, the performances of Eden Brower and John Heneghan certainly live up to Crumb’s standards as an old time aficionado. The New York duo tackle a wide range of vintage Delta blues and ragtime, from the well known (Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Skip James) to the more obscure (Bertha "Chippie” Hill, Pink Anderson). At times, Brower sounds a bit out of her depth as a lead vocalist with this material but those limitations are compensated for by Heneghan’s guitar playing, which stays true to the various traditional styles. Renowned pianist Terry Waldo also adds some flair to several tracks, and while it’s often not enough to prevent the ambitious listener from digging up the original versions, Some Cold Rainy Day is a charming slice of a past that refuses to die. (East River/Forced Exposure)