HOLLY HYATT AND JON BURDEN
SHUFFLIN’ THE BLUES
FLOOD PLANE RECORDS FPR 3584
BLOW WIND BLOW–MOTHER EARTH BLUES–LET’S BOOGIE–LOWDOWN BLUES–COME ON IN MY KITCHEN–GET YOUR OWN MAN–LEFT HANDED SOUL–BLACK CROW–SLUSHY BLUES
Holly Hyatt and Jon Burden hail from British Columbia, and they were known a a predominantly-acoustic duo until their latest set for Flood Plane Records, “Shufflin’ The Blues.” This one is a live set from the Silverton, BC, Gallery, and finds them “plugged in” for roughly half of these cuts. Also, they add a drummer herein, Marvin Walker, to make a fuller sound. There are three acoustic tunes to please their long-time fans, five amped-up blues, and a cool slide guitar piece. Jon’s on guitars and vocals, and Holly holds down the bottom and shares vocals.
A few things jump right out at you as you listen to this set. First is the incredible clarity of the sound, with crowd noise at a minimum, and keeping the musicians at the fore. Jon, the record’s producer, and his team did an exemplary job to give this one a “you were there” feel. And, his guitar playing is impeccable, ringin’ like the proverbial bell throughout.
They kick off with a “back at the Chicken Shack” intro that gives way to a spirited duet on Muddy’s “Blow Wind Blow my baby back to me,” followed by the loping drone of “Mother Earth Blues,” featuring a dazzling solo from Jon mid-song.
Holly takes lead vocal on her original, “Let’s Boogie,” and Jon busts out his best Berry-fied licks in accompaniment. She resurfaces a bit later on another of her compositions, telling all the competition to “Get Your Own Man, ’cause this one’s mine!” The set closes with two more of Holly’s originals. The lilting “Black Crow” highlights her vocal versatility as she hits the upper-register high notes with ease. And, our favorite was the uptempo swing of the set-closer, an ode to climes warmer than BC where there’s beaches instead of snow, the aptly-titled “Slushy Blues!” Holly’s scat-singing at the chorus is a pure delight as well!
Holly Hyatt and Jon Burden hit on a winning formula with exactly what a live set oughta be. “Shufflin’ The Blues” combines sweet originals with hip covers performed by two very special musicians par excellence! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.