« A truly European blues » by Blues & Rhythm

Elmore had an album reviewed back in R&B 165 ; he is the Walloon alter ego of Benoît Blues Boy, who has also been relatively well received in these pages. This set is divided between songs in English and others in Walloon French dialect. It does work, even the reinventing of ‘Bony Moronie’ thanks partly to Elmore reworking and personalising (and lyrics for the relevant songs are given in the booklet in dialect, French and English). Many of the numbers are adapted from the so-called ‘Bluebird’ artists – Big Bill, Tampa Red, Bumble Bee Slim, Jazz Gillum and others, with some originals mixed in. Of the backing musicians, I only recognised pianist Christian Rannennberg, who supplies somme excellent playing, but harp, guitar, bass, drums and washboard are all present too. The solo title tracks is deep and moving, and the album does show that a truly European blues can work. Norman DARWEN - BLUES & RHYTHM