Lew Jetton And 61 South review…August 12, 2017….

LEW JETTON AND 61 SOUTH

PALESTINE BLUES

COFFEE STREET RECORDS

WILL I GO TO HELL–OH MY MY–FOR THE PAIN–MEXICO–SOLD US OUT–DRINKING AGAIN–DON’T NEED NO DEVIL–CHRIST HAVE MERCY–DRAMA–BOUT TIME

Lew Jetton has been a friend of ours pretty much as long as we’ve been doing this—we go waaaay back to the mid-Nineties, when we were known as the Music City Blues Society.  Lew’s music has always been blues that shoot straight from the hip, with no frills.  But, on his latest set for Coffee Street Records, “Palestine Blues,” Lew goes to places other bluesmen might never set foot into.  The music on this set deals with a roughly ten-year period in Lew’s life that most people would bury deep inside their psyche’ and leave it there, as Lew battled drugs, alcohol, depression, and joblessness during this time.  But, Lew turned the ten originals on this album into a memoir of that dark time, using the music herein to show how a person can overcome even the darkest days and find redemption.

Arrangements are relatively sparse, as it was Lew’s intention that the words and music carry the weight of the message, but we do have Lew on guitars and vocals, Erik Eicholtz on drums, Otis Walker on bass, and Colonel J. D. Wilkes on the harp.  The whole thing starts  down at the Crossroads, as Lew asks Jesus, “Will I Go To Hell if I’m not just like you,?” with the Colonel blowin’ like that hell-hound in the background.  Corporate outsourcing leaves many folks living on the government’s dime, and those displaced and jobless as a result are that way “since my job went to Mexico.”  Further reasons why a “country built by the workin’ man” is just a memory is due to the fact that politicians and Big Business has sho’ nuff “Sold Us Out.”

We had two favorites.  Set over a booming, Doomsday riff, sometimes you just gotta get on your knees and pray “Christ Have Mercy, for what I did and did not do.”  And, the set closes with an uptempo shuffle, as Lew realizes it’s “Bout Time to put the bottle down and pick myself up,” leaving a positive message for us all.

Lew Jetton “don’t need no devil to take me down to Hell”—he owns up to the fact that he’s “done it to myself.”  Just as Palestine, the community where Lew lives, was also a Biblical site of great conflict, the music laid down in “Palestine Blues” is a testimony to what Lew has been through to turn his life around and come out on the other side.  It’s not an easy pill to swallow, but it is music that may help others dealing with the same issues, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for sharing it with us.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

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