Ben Prestage

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Ben Prestage - 2007 - Real Music (2012)
I suppose the worst thing you could do when you first become aware of Ben Prestage is to confuse him or compare him with Seasick Steve, which I imagine is often the case. Yes the full on beard is there, the baseball cap, the seated guitarist propping up an unusually designed homemade stringed instrument of sorts and with a penchant for creating his own very distinctive style of blues; it's difficult not to come up with some sort of comparison, whether favourable or not so favourable. Nevertheless, that would do both bluesmen an injustice. 
Born into the real deal Southern American way of life, his father a Mississippi sharecropper and his great-grandmother a vaudeville musician who toured with Al Jolson, performing in his famed medicine shows, Prestage has seemingly absorbed many of the southern blues styles along the Mississippi, all of which come through in his music and his delivery. In the tradition of the one man band, Prestage also pretty much goes it alone. 
On this, his fourth album to date, Prestage delivers a range of blues standards, from the rural blues of Blind Boy Fuller (Rag), Bukka White (Good Gin) and Robert Petway (Catfish Blues), coupled with a taste of the urban blues of Willie Dixon and Howlin' Wolf (Backdoor Man). Although steeped in all manner of blues traditions, this essentially blues based album does have its lighter moments in the traditional Darktown Strutter's Ball and Washboard Sam's Wrong Woman, both with an infectious foot-tapping goodtime groove, together with a short but sweet take on Buck Washington's Save the Roach for Me. Prestage also includes a couple of self-penned songs on REAL MUSIC, the title song and The Ambitious, both of which sit well alongside the standards. 
Hoagy Carmichael's Lazy Bones, credited to Skip James here with an additional 'Lazy' in the title, incorporates Mark Campbell's beautifully deep tuba and Bruce Johnson's harmonica, the only additional musicians used on the album. Prestage looks after the rest, guitar, dobro, diddley-bow and foot drums. 
With a self-designed album sleeve evoking the spirit of late night booze-soaked Mississippi Juke dives, Ben Prestage brings his own brand of swamp blues to the UK, supplemented by an autumn tour, appearing at various UK venues with Ian Siegal. (Allan Wilkinson)
Track list:
1. Catfish Blues - Backdoor Man 3:40
2. Crocodile Man 3:50
3. Rag 2:32
4. Vicksburg Blues 3:41
5. Wrong Woman 2:18
6. Hesitation Blues 4:39
7. Sloppy Drunk 3:07
8. Good Gin 2:56
9. Real Music 4:03
10. Save The Roach For Me 1:52
11. Lazy Lazy Bones 2:43
12. God Is Gonna Cut You Down 3:10
13. The Ambitious 4:10
14. Darktown 2:36
15. Someday Baby 4:02
16. Buck Rag 1:31
Personnel:
Ben Prestage - Guitars,Dobro,Diddley-Bow,Vocals,Foot Drums
Mark Campbell - Tuba,Jug
Bruce Johnson – Harp
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Ben Prestage/2007 - Real Music (2012) FLAC/06 - Hesitation Blues.flac 27.871 MB
Ben Prestage/2007 - Real Music (2012) FLAC/13 - The Ambitious.flac 24.848 MB
Ben Prestage/2007 - Real Music (2012) FLAC/15 - Someday Baby.flac 24.625 MB
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