Dirt Roads

Dirt Roads

by Spencer BohrenSpencer Bohren


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, May 13


Way out in the country where the pavement ends is where the dirt roads begin. Don't be fooled by the title -- this is contemporary but laid-back blues played from the heart. It is definitely a country blues-feeling disc, with much the same kind of feel as Taj Mahal or maybe Keb' Mo', but played with a distinctive, very spare touch. What notes he doesn't play are as important as the ones he does. Just listen to the traditional "The Water Is Wide"; it is done as sparse as can be, and yet it is perhaps one of the richest and most emotional versions you will hear. Grab at his version of "The Wild Ox Moan"; you may never hear it done with such heart and feeling. The one shortcoming of the disc is the lack of noting which instruments he is playing at a particular time. In fact, he is listed on vocals, stringed instruments, and percussion. You can pick out the lap steel, mandolin, guitar, and slide guitar, but there is a haunting feeling there are either more instruments, or he is doing something unheard of. A too-brief note on Jab Wilson's harmonica playing is the perfect compliment to the mood and style of the disc -- the right shoe to go with the left. The most pleasant surprise was the beautiful emotional quality of his vocals. You can hear the influence of a southern raising in the gospel-singing family tradition. The years of living in the ripe blues country of the Mississippi Delta have given a decided blues phrasing to his vocals, and then there is the influence of the New Orleans folk and rhythm scene. The songs he wrote, half of the 12, fit in style so perfectly you know this is his music -- like that beautiful, old, but so well-broken-in pair of boots you just can't bear to part with. This is a gem you are going to have to do some work to find, but your efforts will be well rewarded. The sheer mystic magic this disc contains will more than pay back the effort spent.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/21/2012
Label: Cd Baby
UPC: 0612224144226
catalogNumber: 5637463076
Rank: 129118


  1. The Water Is Wide
  2. How Long Blues
  3. Travelin'
  4. Look Down the Road
  5. The Wild Ox Moan
  6. Yazoo Bottom Messaround
  7. Goin' up the River
  8. Wind in the Mountains
  9. Night Is Fallin'
  10. Eloise
  11. Cry of the Blues
  12. Wade in the Water

Album Credits

Customer Reviews