Bluesman's Lament

by Mike Herman, So-Lo

Released 2017
Catskill Creek Music
Released 2017
Catskill Creek Music
Acoustic Roots & Blues music. A blend of the soulful sounds of Jorma, Taj, Keb, Leadbelly, and more..,
NOTES
Review
Mike Herman, Blues Artist
Philip Glass meets Muddy Waters meets Mae West
At the first chords the river ripples around your feet, and then they repeat, spread and deepen, and you’re in. The guitar sets its theme and flows, the current draws you on, hypnotically, you’re in and you’re moving and when you come up to the surface it’s all the same and every fraction of a second it’s changing. One subtlety builds on another. His voice and his playing become one force. You don’t want it to ever stop.
You’re in the hands of a master here, and he’s in the hands of his own passion for the blues guitar artists of the 1930’s and 40’s he’s studied all his life. Audience and player launch out on a song and travel down it together, immersed.
The man is sexy. Lithe and deliberate, there’s something muscular and taut and catlike about the way he moves and the way he sits, composed and intent, one leg crossed and one toe tapping on the stage. His eyes, shadowed by an old black Stetson, close in a kind of bliss. His singing voice is sexy -- husky and sweet and a little breathless. He usually kicks off a set with his own, “Sweet Jellyroll,” or “Get it While it’s Hot. He’s got his own seasonal material as well, like a song about a woman alone on Christmas Eve longing for a man – say, Santa –to shimmy down her chimney. “C’mere, big boy, was all she said.”
Some of his songs are sunny little numbers about living up in the Catskills, or traditional blues about good ol’ dogs who know how to tree a ‘possum. Some are tragedies about women visiting their husbands in prison. Some are murder ballads. When Herman sang about John Hardy his voice and his playing wove a net of chains. We were down at the bottom on that one with a corpse and his killer, a man stepping out of this world into another, and Herman made us wait on the story as he climbed up the chorus and walked it back and climbed it again before he took us into the melody of the next verse, closer to retribution and death.
This artist is one of the unknown treasures of our Hudson Valley. Or known to too few. You won’t forget hearing those first few notes, feeling that music rise and wrap around you. The first time I heard him I thought about Philip Glass, the subtle, hypnotic urgency of the repetitive back-chords. But Herman brings an enormous warmth and humor to his art. He’s so deeply accomplished that he’s possessed; his music rides him and he takes us along for that ride. Effortlessly. You don’t want to miss hearing this guy. Any chance you get. Check out his website, it’s got his upcoming appearances listed. See: www.MikeHermanSolo.com.
J. Karpova

Making Music

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