D. L. Duncan review…October 9, 2015…

D. L. DUNCAN

D. L. DUNCAN

15 SOUTH RECORDS

I AIN’T THE SHARPEST MARBLE–DICKERSON ROAD–YOU JUST DON’T NEVER KNOW–YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND–I KNOW A GOOD THING–SENDING ME ANGELS–ORANGE BEACH BLUES–ST. VALENTINES DAY BLUES–SWEET MAGNOLIA LOVE–ALL I HAVE TO OFFER YOU IS LOVE

To borrow from the Bard–you know, that ol’ boy that lived down at Stratford-on-Avon–a Duncan by any other name would rock just as hard.  So, whether you know him under his current moniker, D. L., or Dave, as we’ve known him for some twenty years, he’s still one of the best bluesmen on the planet.

His latest set for 15 South Records is self-titled, “D. L. Duncan.”  Ten originals either written in whole or in part by D. L., this set is full of his blistering guitar work and lyrics that will make you laugh, make you cry, and most assuredly make you think, often over the course of a single song.  He looks at life and how to cope thru the eyes of all of us, and that’s what makes him special.

There are great musicians backing D. L. on this one, too.  David Hood is on bass, Vince Santoro and Lynn Williams are on drums and percussion, Kevin McKendree is on keys, Sonny Landreth is on slide guitar, Guthrie Trapp is on electric guitar and mandolin, David Pinkston is on pedal steel, and the guy that showed John Lennon how to blow a harp, ol’ Delbert hisself, is on harp.

Kicking off, Dave tells the story of a classic underachiever—“if you’re lookin’ for a man with ambition, might as well count me out, ’cause I ain’t the sharpest marble in the drawer!  Sonny’s slide and Delbert’s harp add a visceral backdrop to D. L.’s tribute to B. B. King, “You Just Don’t Never Know.”  D. L, “said goodbye to my ex-wife” and moved to “L. A.” (that’s Lower Alabama to those uninitiated) “to play these Orange Beach Blues.”  That smooth groove rocks steady on another good one, the breezy ode to youth and its passions, full of that “Sweet Magnolia Love.”

We had two favorites, too.  “I Know A Good Thing” has cool slide guitar over a percussive, stompin’, Hill Country beat, as D. L. sings of the virtues of his lover, “a mighty fine woman and a real bad girl!”  And, the minor-key ode to life in one of the rough-and-tumble areas of North Nashville is “Dickerson Road,” where “life is cold, and there ain’t no silver and there ain’t no gold.”

If you asked D. L. about his career as a bluesman, he’d probably look you in the eye and say, “I don’t know if it’s true, but it happened to me!”  Still bluesin’ after all these years, “D. L. Duncan” is dedicated to the late, iconic sax man, Dennis Taylor.  D. L., we love you, brother!  until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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