Blues Views is a new occasional feature on wyso.org with reviews of new releases from blues artists written by our own Shakin' Dave Hussong. Hear Shakin' Dave host Hall of Fame Blues on Monday night, 8-11pm.
Artist: Grady Champion
Release: Dreamin’ Audio CD GSM Music Group, 2011
This release, fresh, from the 2010 winner of the International Blues Challenge (IBC), presents a multi-hued blues calling card, from a soon to be internationally recognized "deep south" roots music veteran. Thankfully this pressing is for the ears, and won't become some bent-cornered card hiding out in your billfold with an itinerant phone number scribbled on the back. Grady Champion, is not the first performer to adapt the Rory Gallagher directive to getting his "Calling Card" matched up with the right group of enlightened listeners!
Dreamin' samples the feels and influences of the late Koko Taylor, Tina Turner and Howlin' Wolf on "My Rooster is King" and "Same Train." Champion taps timeless artists for timeless inspiration, as well as giving a nod to Jimmy Reed's "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby" with "Make that Monkey Jump" and Marvin Gaye's rhythmic touch on the Champs’ "Walk With Me Baby.”
This is a time-honored approach for an up and coming artist to let one’s "blues flag fly," and to allow listeners to hear the depth of one’s influences. Champion shows respect through his own compositions, without blatantly ripping off the work of the greats note for note. It's refreshing to hear an adequate harpist and resilient vocalist straddling the tradition without destroying the blues envelope.
Kick back, relax, and put your enjoyment where your ears are, with this very palatable Canton Mississipian's self-produced release on the GSM label.
Check out Grady at www.gradychampion.com/