Personnel: Rory Block (vocals, acoustic guitar); Jordan Block Valdina (vocals, piano); Mike Demicco (electric guitar); Bonnie Raitt (slide guitar); Scott Petito (bass); Jerry Marotta (drums).
Engineers: Scott Petito, Tom Corwin, Jeff Kawalek.
Recorded at NRS Recording Studios, Hurley, New York & Tom Corwin Music Production, Mill Valley, California. Includes liner notes by Rory Block.
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
Personnel: Rory Block (vocals, acoustic guitar); Jordan Block Valdina (vocals, piano); Mike DeMicco (electric guitar); Bonnie Raitt (slide guitar); Jerry Marotta (drums).
Audio Mixer: Jeffrey Kawalek.
Recording information: NRS Recording Studios, Hurley, NY; Tom Corwin Music Production, Mill Valley, CA.
Photographer: Shonna Valeska.
Those who adore Block's work as a preservationist in reinterpreting classic Delta blues from the '20s and '30s will delight in this outing, another return to her solo acoustic roots. Block wanted to approach this album as an attempt to capture the spirit of the one-take recordings of the classic bluesmen, settling for rough mixes and not worrying about endings and other modern-day recording niceties. The result is an album that's the loosest of her career and one that's squarely focused on her guitar and vocals. Breaking things up are guest appearances from Bonnie Raitt playing slide on "Rambling On My Mind" and her son Jordan Block Valdina on piano and vocals on "I Am in the Heavenly Way" and "Long Way From Home." Bringing a sense of full circle to the project are the two originals that Block chooses to close the album with. Both "Mother Marian" (a tribute to mentor Marian Van Ness) and the autobiographical "Life Song" feature a full band behind her poignant lyrics. Other highlights include takes on Charley Patton's "Bo Weavil Blues," Furry Lewis' "Kassie Lee," Robert Johnson's "If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day," and Block's own "Silver Slide Moan." Far less overwrought than her usual offerings but still full of much inspired feeling, this is Block's most solid outing to date. ~ Cub Koda
Dirty Linen (8-9/99, p.68) - "...a gorgeous conduit to the early recordings of both blues and country artists in this century....the music remains timeless....one of [Rory's] strongest..."
Living Blues (1-2/99, p.72) - "Rory Block's head, heart, and fingers are all in the right place - the deep, traditional, country blues..."