BIG JOE BONE Blues Grass Kicks Ass
This is the debut set from Big Joe Bone, known to his mum as Danny Wilson, born in London and now based in central Wales. He calls what he plays “blues grass”, which combines Delta blues and bluegrass and throws in elements of old-timey music and gospel music. The songs are all originals but very, very much within the tradition(s). Joe plays mostly solo, thrashing away or coming over all delicate on guitar, picking away effortlessly on banjo, playing blues harp and stamping – or should that be stomping? – his foot, occasionally helped out by Ivor Aldred on backing vocals, harmonica and hand-clapping. On his website, Danny describes himself as “a relatively young act compared to some” but that is certainly not apparent at all from listening to the music on this album, as he recalls the likes of bluesman Bukka White (a good reference point for the steel-bodied guitar playing), the great old-timey banjo player Charlie Poole, bluegrass legends Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs or guitar evangelist Blind Willie Johnson. Maybe though the energy might just give it away, as it certainly would not be his voice – Mr. Bone’s raspy blues vocals or high hillbilly flavoured singing both sound incredibly authentic. You would swear he has just come up from Mississippi rather than mid-Wales or down from high up in the Appalachians rather than Aberystwyth. Hopefully this release will do well and Joe will get the chance to record again soon – and if he is anywhere near your area, do get along to see him, by all accounts (and judging from YouTube videos) his live show is quite something!