Singing the next-gen blues

Singing the next-gen blues
June 17, 2009
Edmonton Sun

hen Ryan Perry was 13 years old, he could already wail on guitar and sing the blues with a feeling artists much older can't muster.

Now it's four years later, and as the youngest-ever winners of a Blues Music Award, Perry and younger siblings Kyle and Taya are taking the blues world by storm as the Homemade Jamz Blues Band.

Their latest CD is just out from Canada's Northern Blues, a Toronto-based label that, along with Delta Groove Records, is helping to define the modern blues audience.

There are very few missteps on I Got Blues For You!, a stripped-down, dry-recorded kind of album that relied heavily on the rock-steady drumming of young Taya to be front and centre on every cut.

The opening cut, Hard Headed Woman, sets the tone with a straight up blues standard; there are also forays here into more funky guitar, aggressive low-down tunes like Dust Till Dawn, and a solitary cover, an overly restrained take on the Little Milton classic Grits Ain't Groceries. It just ain't the same without the horns.

About the only sour note comes from the self-indulgent Heaven Lost an Angel, an eight-minute blues noodle that offers nothing new. But even that song suffers solely from mere competency.

The kids' father, Renaud Perry, wrote nearly all the songs. He's got a deft turn of phrase, and recognizes his son's vocal contraints nicely, leaving listeners with the impression of a frontman who has been around a lot longer and dealt with times much harder.

Straight out of Mississippi by way of Toronto, it should not be missed.

Four out of Five Suns

Homemade Jamz

I Got Blues For You!
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