(back) - All About Jazz - Remembering Leadbelly -Stony Plain Records
One of the nicest trends in Blues is the exploration of modern artists into songbooks of legendary performers who came before them. One such homage that stands out is the exploration of
Leadbelly's repertoire by Long John Baldry. Baldry comes from the '60s British invasion of artists with a greater appreciation and influence of Blues and Roots music than many of America’s recording artists of the day.

On Remembering Leadbelly he hits the ground running with the attack and spirit that so symbolized Leadbelly. Baldry successfully bridges the gap between emulating a great artist and bringing his own voice to the recording. You will never feel like Baldry is either simply trying to imitate or replicate Leadbelly and at the same time, there will be no feeling of an artist who doesn't care about the source of his remembrance. This is most evident on Baldry's takes on "Rock Island Line" and "Birminghamton Jail." While understandable, it's a bit disappointing that he didn't choose to record "Goodnight Irene", Leadbelly's signature tune. Sometimes artists feel that signature tunes are best left alone; however, I feel that Baldry would have knocked it out of the park and recorded a version that would make Leadbelly smile. Also, curiously included on this recording is an interview with Alan Lomax, who is credited with finding Leadbelly and you have more of a complete picture of the artist being paid homage to then your traditional tribute-type record. Remembering Leadbelly will appease fans of great traditional Blues, as well as serve as a top-of-the-line modern day exploration of a legend and his music. - by Charlie B. Dahan - All About Jazz


FFWD Weekly · Two giants clash, everybody wins. - Remembering Leadbelly - Stony Plain Records
Much as Anthony Hopkins managed to play the part of Richard Nixon without looking or particularly sounding like ol' Tricky Dicky himself, so Long John Baldry succeeds here in capturing the essence of Blues pioneer Huddie Ledbetter without descending into mere impersonation. The result is a CD that matches and even, on occasion, surpasses the original artist. Mind you, at times Baldry does sound eerily close to Leadbelly's baritone growl, especially on 'Go Down Old Hannah' and 'Here Rattler'. But he's never restrained by an inflexible reverence for the original, instead often modifying both the melody and lyrics of old standards that form the core of Leadbelly's considerable legacy. Thus 'Midnight Special','Rock Island Line' and 'John Hardy', among others, get a good going over and are all the better for it. What emerges in the end is a curiously timeless album that sounds like it could have been recorded at any point over the past 50 years. This is only one of its many strengths. In a perfect world, Leadbelly would have died rich and famous, Long John Baldry would be a household name across Canada, and every serious music fan would have a copy of this CD. David Bright - FFWD

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