Pat Thomas - His Father's Son

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Pat Thomas - His Father's Son

Postby blueswriter » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:19 pm

Pat Thomas
His Father’s Son
Broke & Hungry (2009) BH 13006


12 tracks, 40 minutes. Recommended. If you don’t think the Broke & Hungry label is putting out the most consistent string of ‘traditional’ rural blues these days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another imprint that compares with it. It’s entirely possible to replace the word traditional with archaic, because the label’s music is actually equal parts of the two. They say an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and this is a case in point on all counts. His Father‘s Son could just as easily have been called His Father’s Legacy because Pat Thomas is certainly carrying on in his dad’s footsteps. Pat’s father, James “Son” Thomas, was a Mississippi folk artist in the truest sense of the word until his death in 1993. He was both a celebrated bluesman and sculptor whose acclaim was still on the rise when he died and Son’s art became a huge influence on Pat. As if that weren’t enough, Pat sounds eerily close to his father as both a guitarist and vocalist. While his voice may not be that of a proper singer’s, his heart is definitely in the right place. Most of the dozen tracks here will probably be fairly familiar (in title form) to listeners with even a little background in blues, but they immediately become Pat’s songs when he opens his mouth. Standing At The Crossroads sounds nothing like the decades-old version by Elmore James, Dimples bears almost no resemblance to John Lee Hooker’s song of the same name, and Sugar Mama sure won’t make you think of John Lee Williamson. Whether he’s doing 61 Highway, Cairo Blues, Leland’s Burning Down or his father’s Beefsteak Blues, Pat Thomas is is comfortably in his zone as a bluesman. Lee Williams brilliantly accompanies Thomas on drums for four rousing tracks that will have you rockin‘ and rollin’ no matter what you’re up to when you hear them, and it's a fair bet that the hidden track on this wonderful disc will leave you scratching your head. While it would be easy to say they just don’t make music this raw anymore, it would also be incorrect. Broke & Hungry Records proves yet again that Delta Blues isn’t dead nor is it a lost art. It’s current, it’s viable and it’s out there. You just have to look a little harder to find it these days. Truly engaging stuff!

© 2010 by Craig Ruskey
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