Fox & Branch,
Hot Time
(Doodleywag, 2007)

To listen to Milwaukee's Dave Fox and Will Branch, you'd think they haven't heard a single song that was recorded after 1939. Their CD is loaded with tunes by the likes of the Mississippi Sheiks, Sam McGhee, Blind Boy Fuller, Mother Maybelle Carter and Sarah (Carter) Bayes. Their playing is rooted in the '30s also -- no flashy licks here, no guitar or fiddle heroics. The most up-to-date solo is played on a kazoo.

Does this devotion to the past present a problem? Absolutely not. These guys might play the past but they love it there, they're right at home there and they bring it to life. The rhythms are strong and danceable, the songs well chosen, the playing supplemented by the occasional piano, upright bass or harmonica.

In all, Hot Time is a trip to a musical past that you'll be glad you took.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Michael Scott Cain

12 July 2008

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