Album: CW Stoneking Jungle Blues (King Hokum)

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The Independent Culture

C W Stoneking is a one-off eccentric of the first order, a 21st-century Australian white man who presents himself, colouration excepted, as a black American minstrel from a century earlier.

White men singing the blues is no new thing, of course, but Stoneking delves deeper than most, singing in a whiskery growl-cum-yodel that's equal parts Satchmo and Skip James, and adding to his nimble guitar vamps some of the most authentic New Orleans minstrel-band horns you'll hear this side of George Lewis's Eureka Brass Band, a louche syncopation that brings vivid atmosphere to the title-track of this debut album. Elsewhere, "Talkin' Lion Blues" is a drolly punning tall story about an encounter with a conversational cat, while "Brave Son of America" offers a calypso tribute to General MacArthur in the style of Van Dyke Parks's Discover America.

DOWNLOAD THIS Jungle Blues; Talkin' Lion Blues; Brave Son of America