Artist: Michael Packer
Album: I Am The Blues: My Story Vol. 3
Label: Iris Music Group
Release Date: 11.15.2017
I Am The Blues, from the late Michael Packer, who passed only a few months ago, is an absolutely solid body of work, the final musical denouement from a New York guitarist and bluesman who did it all in the course of a full half century as a professional gigging musician. Most of the songs here come from Packer’s own pen and some are political, campaigning and searching. Others are joint efforts with one being a clear lift—eadily admitted in the preamble itself—from William Bell & Booker Jones’ blues standard “Born Under A Bad Sign.”
Tracks and influences are bare, spare and at times pared down to the bone with some real quality vocals and fretwork from Packer, who also doubles on keys when necessary. Some of the USA’s finest bluesmen give their best for this biographic project including Alexis Suter, Willie “The Touch” Hayes, Roosevelt Purifroy and Mike Wheeler —all guys who know their way around the music, having pretty much made it their own over the years.
Each track is preceded by Packer himself sombrely recounting a story, telling the tale behind the influence for the song itself. The tragedy about this release may ultimately prove to be that this is a true delight, a positive, life-affirming album from a guy who is no longer with us.