Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons - Take Yo Time (2014)

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Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons - Take Yo Time (2014)
Artist: Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons
Title Of Album: Take Yo Time
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Blues Folk
Label: Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 48:19
Total Size: 116 Mb
Covers: Front

01. Jazz Fiddler (4:06)
02. Mississippi Heavy Water Blues (1:43)
03. House Carpenter (4:21)
04. Jungle Nights In Harlem (3:02)
05. Long Tall Mama (3:24)
06. Going To German (3:16)
07. Broke Down Engine Blues (3:44)
08. Buck Rag (2:38)
09. Banks Of The River (2:48)
10. Preachin' Blues (4:38)
11. Tom Dooley (4:16)
12. Got The Blues (Can't Be Satisfied) (2:57)
13. Beaumont Rag (3:21)
14. Some Of These Days (4:00)

You know when an album is titled Take Yo Time it�s gonna be good. It took me a few listens through before I understood what Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are up to, though. Hunter and Seamons are radical thinkers, and their Rhapsody Project in Seattle is a workshop on folk and blues that seeks to re-envision music as a participatory event, especially with the youth. Their ethic goes beyond DIY, and extends right into the homes and schools of Seattle�s community, in an effort to dispel the myth of some imaginary musical entry point, and create opportunity with concentration on students of color. These are musicians who would rather you clap your hands, or see you dance, than play in such a way that holds up the invisible wall between performer and audience.

It�s for this reason �not just for its cool name� that Take Yo Time is great. Hunter and Seamons have cast a huge net around traditional songs from a variety of genres, and, for ease of explanation, played them simply. What I thought would be a folk album to me sounds more like a blues album played with folk instruments.

Joe Seamons is the heir to, and the man behind, Timberbound, a legacy of Northwestern logging culture that was almost as lost to us as old growth timber. Thanks to a songbook he came across, and some men who handed down other songs to him, he�s been able to preserve this niche style of Northwestern folk and blues the way it�s always been: learning it from the last generation. Joe actually details the history in brief in his live at KEXP performance here, and he laid it out in detail for us in a feature on American Standard Time. The Timberbound album turns out to be this amazing collection of folk songs that were rarely, if ever, recorded (despite being handed down over generations) until Joe got to the business of preserving them

Occasionally during the Timberbound album there are phenomenal blues bridges in songs, and exciting breaks from folk tales to play working blues. I was especially excited to find Joe Seamons working with fiddler Ben Hunter on a separate project, and that they were identifying as a folk-blues band. Turns out their style is fast and loose, and these guys are talented enough to play any style they choose. The album is built on the bare necessities banjo, voice, fiddle, and sometimes guitar Ben and Joe take turns singing everything from Timberbound tunes, to Delta blues, to English and Appalachian ballads and American jazz.

What seems like a good opportunity for Joe Seamons to show off his multi-instrumental chops sees him hanging back, easing on fills and frill, and allowing silence to creep in, creating space on the album that feels welcoming. Ben Hunter plays many parts on this album typically not reserved for the violin. Blues riffs and jazz piano chords skitter off his fiddle, often leading the songs rather than banjo or guitar. Hunter takes his turn at singing as well, adding another dimension, and level of participation to the album.

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Tags: Hunter, Seamons

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