A Grand “Re-Opening” of Sorts: Jeff Buckley and the Blues

Hello folks of WordPress! Due to a fun conversation with my mom, I’ve decided to start fresh and create a new blog. Previously, I’ve spent some time writing reviews and enjoying music at Zach’s Music Reviews. And if  I’m being frank with you all, I’ve been branching out from the songs/albums I readily go to when I need a quick musical fix. Hence the re-opening, I suppose. I hope you enjoy your stay as I enjoy writing.

Tonight, let’s take a look at Jeff Buckley and his simultaneous covers of “Parchman Farm Blues” and “Preachin’ Blues”. Both extraordinarily raw and candid early songs, originally sung by Bukka White and Son House, respectively. Well, how does Buckley do the songs justice; that is, does he breath new life into them?

Buckley had some musical balls, that’s for sure. His voice is more reminiscent of the airy and sinuous vocal qualities of Tim Hardin, rather than the hard-hitting and sharp vocalizations of Mr. White. Nevertheless, Buckley kicks some ass here as he brings out the earnestness and forlornness hiding in the White’s original. It’s fun to listen to as it feels so real, authentic and spontaneous (as if he just sat down and started singing). Is it better than White’s version? I think so since I can’t really “get into” White’s discography, apart from some earlier stuff. A heretic blues listener? Possibly. Living life dangerously, I suppose.

Next up is Son House’s excellent and (almost) hypnotic “Preachin’ Blues”. Frankly, I think House’s voice is better suited for the song’s gospel-themed content (as House was a preacher at one point, I believe). Yes, Robert Johnson added his own twist and character to it; nevertheless, I still like House’s take.

So at the end of the day, Buckley’s interpretation of these old, earthy and rustic blues classics is memorable, exciting, but ultimately not the best.

8/10

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