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from Blues in Britian Magazine, November 2012

Butch Thompson &Pat Donohue – Vicksburg Blues
Red House Records RHR CD 257

In those wee midnight hours, long ‘fore the break of dawn, relaxing sloppy drunk with your mean mistreating mama – do you pine for those lowdown dog and tantalising blues of Leroy Carr, Scrapper Blackwell and Little Brother Montgomery? If you do then your prayers answered with this superb set from Butch Thompson and Pat Donohue.

Thompson (piano/clarinet) and Donohue (vocals/guitar) recreate the plaintive and wistful feel of the aforementioned blues greats without resorting to mimicry – investing their blues with their own personalities without losing sight of their influential and inspirational roots.

Thompson and Donohue are both masters of their art with songs like Carr’s “How Long Blues” benefiting from the addition of haunting slide guitar – Blind Blake’s “Poker Woman” revelling in Thompson’s barrelhouse piano and Donohue’s Blackwell inspired guitar – whilst Donohue’s own “Blues For Two” raises the spectres of both Robert Nighthawk and Tampa Red in it’s slide guitar, and Blind John Davis with it’s piano.

The evocative swing of “Evenin’” – the rollicking “Papa’s On The Housetop” – the mellow clarinet and guitar on the jazzy “If I Had You” – Jelly Roll Morton’s plaintive “219 Blues” – the wonderful stride piano on “Blues For Little Brother” – I could eulogise over every single track.

Love it! And you will too! - Mick Rainsford


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