Keepin’ Outta Trouble: A Tribute To Bukka White (Stony Plain Records)
Country blues guitarist Rory Block returns with the latest in her Mentor Series of tributes to her early musical influences, this time focusing on slide guitar legend Bukka White. She does this by covering a few of his songs (Aberdeen Mississippi Blues, Parchman Farm Blues, Panama Limited) in and amongst her own compositions, which focus on White’s life. Block is a skilled and subtle player, and a distinctive, throaty vocalist able to navigate White’s most famous songs without sounding too faithful to the source recordings. Block’s own compositions wander off the pure blues form at times, tangling with bongos and plastic tubs (also played by Block), giving them a loose, pleasant feel, history lessons dressed up in casual narrative and acoustic licks. Not all of it sticks with the power of White’s own songs, but when Block winds it up on Bukka’s Day she comes damn close.