Jeff Dale review…August 21, 2014….

JEFF DALE

AND THE SOUTH WOODLAWNERS

GOOD MUSIC

PRO SHO BIDNESS   PSB 4080

TOWN LINE ROAD–NAKED WOMAN IN MY BED–GOOD MUSIC–LETTER FROM THE BIRMINGHAM JAIL–FINAL DESTINATION–SHE LOVE ME–WAGON WHEEL–COLD WIND–BLACK AND WHITE–THE DEVIL I KNOW–MURDER–MY BRAIN TOOK THE WHOLE NIGHT OFF

Jeff Dale was indeed “born in Chicago,” and was immersed into the blues thru the music that permeated his neighborhood.  He was a quick study on the guitar, and, by his teens, he was accompanying the likes of Etta James and Pee Wee Crayton, to name just a few.  His band of South Woodlawners conain alumni from great bands all over the Windy City, and his third album since 2009 is his latest, “Good Music.”  It is twelve original cuts that draw from the wellspring of the foundation laid down by the Chicago masters, but Jeff “does his own thing,” and brings everything into today’s perspective to please today’s contemporary audiences.

The title cut sums up a famous quote by Satchmo Armstrong–“There are two kinds of music–good and bad–and I only play the good kind!”  Jeff has that feel for the blues down in his soul, and it comes out all over this set.  His looks at life and love are filled with wit, humor, pathos and life’s experiences.  The set starts with a chugging “endless boogie,” “Town Line Road,” which literally separates the rich from the poor on either side of it.  A series of life-altering misfortunes leaves Jeff with that “Cold Wind blowing thru my life again,” on ths minor-key classic slow-blueser.  “The Devil I Know” deals with the reasons people who stay in bad relationships because “there can always be a worse Devil “several levels below this one.”  A broken affair is perhaps the set’s most poignant moment, as Jeff checks the signpost up ahead, which reads, “your Final Destination is the blues!”

We had several favorites, too.  “Naked Woman In My Bed” has a driving horn section and harp from Glen Doll, with Jeff realizing, sadly, that, even tho she’s naked, “I had to go to work!”  Another humor-filled cut is a jump-blues number called “My Brain Took The Whole Night Off,” where a bevy of beautiful women has Jeff thinking, not with his brain, but with his….well, you get the picture!

On a more serious note, Jeff uses quotes from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter From The Birmingham Jail” to try and teach everyone the evils of social injustices.

Jeff Dale strikes a happy medium between serious looks at life interspersed with things to make you laugh, or at least say “hmmmm.”  He hit the nail on the head with the title of this set, too, ’cause Jeff Dale don’t play nothin’ but “Good Music!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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