Album Reviews

Sugarcane Collins

Going Back to Clarksdale

Artist:     Sugarcane Collins

Album:     Going Back To Clarksdale

Label:     Self-Released

Release Date:     06/23/2015


An artist so sweet it’s in the name – Sugarcane Collins’ refreshingly traditional Going Back to Clarksdale is the tried and true work of a master blues interpreter. Collins’ latest collection of blues standards and delta-inspired tunes is an apt reminder of just how well these veritable American treasures have held up over time.

With a voice like bark peeling off a Magnolia in a most pleasing manner and a penchant for swiftly cascading guitar licks, Collins immediately parades the album as familiar as can be. It’s as if he has played the songs for decades prior to this release, in lifetimes unrecognizable to him now. The original composition “Hungry, Broke and Blue” radiates authenticity of a subdued existence, whereas a tune such as “Blind Willie” roll off like a tribute from an old pal to one of the undisputed greats.

Collins plays his original songs with a soupçon of inadequacy. This intentional negligence is no doubt in respect to his musical forefathers, as Collins realizes only the likes of Mississippi John Hurt and the early practitioners can adeptly play the blues. Collins’ level of reverence for the old guard transcends much more than simply keeping things low key.

Going Back to Clarksdale offers Collins a honorary spot among the American legends of old, and imagines what a jam session might sound like between the Aussie and Son House. It’s an invigorating bridge between two eras that only Collins can humbly envision.

– Jake Tully

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