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Friday, April 16, 2010

Blues Historian Review: Nick Curran, Reform School Girls

Nick Curran's latest release Reform School Girl is a rollicking romp through the best of the late 50s and early 60s. Curran at times sounds like Little Richard, then Screaming Jay Hawkins, or a sly parody of the Shangri-la's Leader of the Pack. I also enjoyed the intentionally distorted vocals on some of the tracks. The original artists who were African American didn't have the soundmen, or the equipment to improve the sound, or the time since many recordings were essentially one take. So now many years later, Curran takes that sound and intentionally records it that way. In many ways it makes sense given Curran's punk sensibility. Curran is interested in the raw power of the music and what better way than to distort the vocal, much like Little Richard or Muddy Waters did 60 years ago. I like this disc for many reasons, but mostly I like how punk and blues can work well together. both are a visceral, in your face type of music. To paraphrase John Lennon, it is not "would you please have the foresight to throw me a life preserver, but HELP! Like Lennon, Curran belts out his songs, and the emotion come through.

As you might know Nick is battling cancer. I am not sure if he has insurance, because most musicians don't have the money to pay for great health care. There was a fund raiser a last month for him. However, I am sure if you buy this disc it would help, and while you are at it buy another for your friends, and help out a bluesman in need.

BTW, to keep you on teh up and up, I did receive this disc from Electro Grove Records.

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