Robin O' Acoustic Blues, Gospel and Original Music

Red White and Blues

by David Blue

Roughly fifty percent self-written, this album is my first introduction to the gospel-tinged blues of Robin O’Herin and is, in fact, her debut. Massachusetts based O’Herin was brought up on Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith and the like and her influences are there to be heard. The album opens with the understated Hold On, an original composition on which Robin introduces us to her slide guitar and she is ably backed by Peter Schneider on the electric piano.

The old standard Corinna Corinna is given a good treatment and is sung with great gusto. I’m beginning to feel that Robert Johnson’s Walking Blues is on just about every blues album that I’m reviewing but Robin’s version gives it a new slant and she delivers a funky and deceptively powerful performance. Junkfood Junkie Blues is the second of the self-written offerings and is a song for today’s times, enough said. One of the best tracks on the album surfaces with Willie Moore’s Old Country Rock. This has distinctive drums by Terry Hall and excellent guitar playing.

Robin’s husband Brian comes in for some special mention on Brian’s Song, which is very folksy and very beautiful. The traditional Abilene, with Charlie Mead on harp, showcases Robin’s distinctive voice and her versatility is shown on The Driving Song (Commuter Blues), a self-written, driving boogie with a full band for a change. Ever Hopeful is another of her own songs. It’s an upbeat and happy instrumental featuring some good guitar work. The last of the original songs is Fly In Amber, which features more of Robin’s excellent guitar and the album finishes with the emotion-laden, heart wrenching Precious Lord. This album may be a couple of years old now but it should be brought to your attention, as should any subsequent recordings.