Lurrie Bell review…September 2, 2016…

LURRIE BELL

CAN’T SHAKE THIS FEELING

DELMARK RECORDS  DE-847

BLUES IS TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH ME–DRIFTING–I GET SO WEARY–ONE-EYED WOMAN–THIS WORRISOME FEELING IN MY HEART–SIT DOWN BABY–HOLD ME TIGHT–SINNER’S PRAYER–I CAN’T SHAKE THIS FEELING–BORN WITH THE BLUES–DO YOU HEAR?–HIDDEN CHARMS–FAITH AND MUSIC

Lurrie Bell never ceases to amaze us.  No matter what tribulations life throws at him, he always takes the bad and turns it into some of the purest, deepest, from-the-soul blues you’d ever want to hear.  He’s done it again with his latest set for Delmark, “Can’t Shake This Feeling.”  He wrote or co-wrote five of the thirteen cuts herein, and this set has some of his most inspired playing and singing over his illustrious career.

Lurrie has always remained positive, even tho he lost his iconic dad, Carey, and his life partner as well, both within a matter of months a few years back.  And, his music has always been his rock, and it pours out of him on this set.  His usual suspects are also along for the ride, with Matthew Skoller on harp, Roosevelt Purifoy on keys, Melvin Smith on bass, and Willie “The Touch” Hayes on drums.  Lurrie busts outta the gate with an original shuffle, “Blues Is Trying To Keep Up With Me,” with everybody getting to jam a little.  The stop-time of Eddie Boyd’s “my baby left me Drifting” is next, and Lurrie’s vocal is over-the-top here, too.

Nobody in contemporary blues can express the pain of loss and hard luck thru his playing quite like Lurrie Bell.  There are several fine examples of his deep, slow-burning blues that simply reach out and grab you.  Check out his strong take on “Sinner’s Prayer,” T-Bone Walker’s  “I Get So Weary,” and his own minor-key classic, “This Worrisome Feeling In My Heart.”  Throughout these and several others on the set, Lurrie visits some of the deepest, darkest shades of blues that exist, with vocals to match.

We had two favorites, too.  Lurrie and Matthew get down on a sho’ nuff shot of country-blues, on the humorous acoustic tale of “the tears of a One-Eyed-Woman that only come outta one eye!”  This one sounds as if it could have been a lost gem from “Second Nature,” the Alligator set from Lurrie and his legendary father.  And, the set closes on a powerful, spiritually-charged note.  This time it is just Lurrie’s vocal and his electric guitar on a tune he wrote with Dick Shurman.  It tells us all what keeps him going thru the tough times—“Faith And Music.”

Lurrie Bell is as honest and as passionate as they come.  We echo the sentiments of Tom Marker in the liner notes of “Can’t Shake This Feeling”–Lurrie, we love you, man!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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