Jerron ‘Blindboy’ Paxton
Recorded Music For Your Entertainment
Country-Blues so Raw You Will Need Band-Aids For Your Heart.
I’ve played this album a lot over the last week and enjoyed it in a bitter-sweet way each time; but wish I’d heard it and reviewed it before I saw him play live.
A few years ago I immersed myself in all things Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Reverend Gary Davis and more; so much so I think I sickened myself of that style of Blues……until recently.
There’s been a bit of a resurgence among the young musicians of my home-town in Newcastle; led by the Monkey Junk Blues Club which has spawned quite a few talented singers and guitarists onto the ‘scene’.
Then along comes Jerron Paxton; who is so talented, not only as a singer and multi-instrumentalist but as a songwriter too; leaving everyone else in his wake.
Although recorded in 2015, if it wasn’t for the pin sharp production you would swear every track here had been written and recorded before WWII.
Opening with Massa I’m a Stingy Man; Paxton makes his banjo sound almost Classical at times; and his voice sounds as authentic as possible; never ever straying into parody.
I’ve lost count of the amount of versions of Motherless Child Blues I have; but this interpretation sounds every bit like what I’d hope to hear if I was transported back to some Hicksville Juke-joint in the 20’s; but I doubt anyone then could play a guitar as well as this young man.
Jerron’s dextrous finger picking style shines throughout the album; but what I like best is his ability to never play three notes when one will suffice.
I don’t know when Country-Blues had their fall out and went their separate ways; but Jerron Paxton just may be the man to bring them back together again for the long haul; especially if the sea-shanty influenced (honestly) Glendy Burk is anything to go by; and I ain’t heard a harmonica played that well for a lot of years.
Apart from the charming Lost My Appetite For Chicken; the thing I’ve missed here is the mischief and humour that his concert was full of and proved that the Blues doesn’t have to be miserable. Here ‘Chicken’ is played straight and is quite fine; but when he sang it live I actually laughed out loud twice to the same words.
Not necessarily my first choice of tunes but here the traditional Folk song, Soldier’s Joy played on the banjo is actually exciting; most unlike the terminable version I learnt at school.
Interestingly it is immediately followed by the Lutin Reel which really showcases his skills on the fiddle; making it a real thing of beauty.
Two years ago Jerron Paxton would have disappeared without trace; but here in 2015 the World is finally ready for authentic Country-Blues of this quality.
Recorded Music For Your Entertainment is an excellent title and exactly sums up what you hear.