After many years leading free-jazz tinged units spiced with Ornette Coleman patented harmolodics and rocking electric blues, guitar innovator and vocalist James Blood Ulmer finally goes it alone. Performing solely on acoustic guitar and topped off with his somewhat gruff, tremolo heavy vocals, the artist’s grassroots approach is stylized by his all-telling characterizations of the blues idiom. It’s a deeply personalized venture, which in turn, separates this outing from the hordes of blues-based wannabes or upstarts.
One of the key components here resides within Ulmer’s odd guitar tunings and abstract phrasings, including two instrumental tracks. Otherwise, Ulmer spills his guts out for the entire world to hear. It’s all performed with deeply emotive sensibilities; thus generating an undercurrent that transcends reality. You can just imagine the guitarist sitting under an old oak tree somewhere in the Deep South, belting out these pieces with the aspirations of perhaps garnering the acknowledgment of a higher entity. (Essential listening.... )