Blues Before & After
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Nov. 29, 2013
Somewhere in the soup of Sixth Street's blues bars lives Birdlegg, a 66-year-old harmonica player so bad you wouldn't leave your lady with him for a lickety-split second. The Pennsylvania native's third album, and first since 1998, doubles as his first on local blues imprint Dialtone Records, which proves a perfect fit. He takes eight of the 12 songwriting credits on Birdlegg, the lot highlighted by the slow-cooked "Restraining Order Blues," a song about a topic best covered on 12 bars, and "San Pablo," which reminisces on his time spent along the popular Oakland, Calif., avenue over a tight Bo Diddley beat. Birdlegg also redraws Albert King's classic "I'll Play the Blues for You" and breaks down "Blb" for a four-minute piano and harmonica shuffle. "Good Time Blues" from way "Down in My Shoes."