"...a two disc treat that offers more of his acoustic prowess and introduces us to his fine electric side. A veritable textbook on the blues." John Heidt, Vintage Guitar Magazine
"If you are going to buy just one blues CD this year, consider this one before any others."
Joel Okida, FolkWorks e-magazine, www.folkworks.org
"And what a superb CD it is, one of the finest releases of its kind in many years...If radio knew talent Pearl would be heard every hour on the hour."
Willard Manus, What's Up Magazine, September 2008
"...an entertaining journey from beginning to end...guitar work is fluid and never disappoints...some glorious slide...It's a great set of acoustic blues guitar...warm, confident vocals are perfectly suited for the material...The fact that most of these songs are rarely heard these days makes this set even more exciting."
Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes/Surprise, September 2008
"...a fine recollection and distillation of the songs and performance tips of this Los Angeles singer and guitarist picked up from the likes of Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Harmonica Fats, and many others...The electric set is the same - but even better...with a fine vocal and the kind of guitar playing all too rarely heard over the last three to four decades.."
Norman Darwen, Blues & Rhythm, The Gospel Truth #232, 2008
"...in truth every track is a diamond in its own right."
Mick Rainsford, Blues in Britain, 2008
"It goes without saying that Bernie Pearl consistently produces some of the most genuine blues in the country, or the world for that matter..."
Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, July, 2008
"A must have for any collection... Bernie Pearl is a master at acoustic and electric blues, and hot improvisational fingerpicking and this CD showcases some of his incredible style. There is simply no end to this guy's talent! Bernie Pearl will surely be one of the legends that future generations will speak about! PHENOMENAL guitar playing, moving lyrics - the whole spectrum. He's the real deal. Simply a HUGE amount of talent for one individual to have!"
Freddy Celis - Rootstime (Belgium) www.rootstime.be
"This is a worthy disc for every blues-lover's library...The acoustic disc is especially great...I think the only acoustic guitar player that compares is the great Doc Watson.This is the way Doc Watson would play blues if he played blues...It is terrific blues music played with soul and taste and command."
Bruce Edwards - MoBlues Assn. (Missouri) www.moblues.org
Old School Blues Acoustic/Electric Bee Bump Music BEBCD008
Bernie Pearl, producer
Acoustic sides recorded January 15 & 23 2008
Electric sides recorded March 1 & 2 2008
Pacifica Studios, Los Angeles, Glenn Nishida, Engineer
Photography & Graphics E.K. Waller
Bernie Pearl guitar and vocals all tracks
Michael Barry upright and electric bass
Albert Trepagnier, Jr. drums
Dwayne Smith piano
Dedicated to my wife and my two wonderful children for their love and support though thick and thin – mostly thin
This is what I do. This is what we do. One night solo acoustic in a restaurant, next gig with the band, amp cranked, then in concert with bass playing to a hushed and reverent audience. We recorded these sides in a studio. I sang and played solo and in ensemble as in a live performance. Though we did overdub one vocal and one instrumental track, what you hear is what you can expect in person. I’ve been with these guys for over 20 years. You might say we got a thing goin’ on with the blues. Their artistry in the studio surpassed anything I could have hoped for. Mike Barry also gave huge support in the practicalities of CD production.
Old School Blues/Acoustic I
Blues In the Bottle – A Mance Lipscomb song with a few references to Blind Lemon and others. I met Mance in 1961, and have been studying him ever since.
Goin’ Down Slow – Everyone’s done a version of this St. Louis Jimmy classic, from Howlin’ Wolf to Aretha Franklin. Mine is inspired by Mance and Lightnin’.
I Be’s Troubled – From Muddy Waters’ deep repertoire. Delta slide guitar.
I’ll Fly Away – An instrumental arrangement played on a National guitar, inspired by the Baptist homegoing service of Mrs. Josephine______.
I’ve never made up anything remotely like this, I just let it happen.
Shake ‘Em Down – Rural Mississippi dance music, learned from mentor and teacher Fred MacDowell. Imagine shakin’ it at a lubricated backyard BBQ in the Deep South.
God Moves On the Water – A telling of the sinking of Titanic borrowing words and slide guitar licks from Blind Willie Johnson and Mance Lipscomb.
Berlin Rag – I played the music for a theatrical production called “The Berlin Blues” in 2007. I composed this fingerpicking piece for the overture.
Country Sugar Mama – Based on a Little Son Jackson song, laced with inspiration from Lightnin’ Sam and Snooks Eaglin.
Pawnshop Blues – Brownie got it from Blind Boy Fuller’s “Three Ball Blues”, and I got it from Brownie.
Rock Me Mama – Who hasn’t paid homage to Big Boy Crudup’s great tune? Well, now I join the ranks. I just love to play it, all night long.
Old School Blues/Electric II
Automobile Blues – We grind an early Lightnin’ Sam Hopkins classic. I’ve recorded it before, but never like this. I hope he’d approve.
Cherry Ball – Mance Lipscomb called it Shake, Shake Mama, but it’s the same words done a to a boogie beat. If you don’t shake…
The Ballad of Freddie – Mance told this Texas story of sex, infidelity, and murder.
A cautionary tale. Don’t know of another like it in the blues.
Rocks & Gravel Boogie – The words come mostly from Mance, but the beat has a North Mississippi hill country resonance. I needed to plug it in this time.
Crosscut Saw – Albert King’s timeless version of the Tommy McClennan recording only has three verses. I’ve added six new ones of my own.
Driving Wheel – A polished Little Jr. Parker hit. Our rougher take calls up visions of a 50’s juke-joint in me. And, it rocks, baby, with the lights down low.
If You Lose Your Money – I learned this from Brownie McGhee (from Tennessee). But, we do it with a “New Orleans meets Bo Diddley” feel.
Baby, You Don’t Have To Go – We take this Jimmy Reed tune back to Chicago.
You Know I Love You – Chicago? I love Otis Rush, in fact I got to play with him a few years ago. This song has stayed with me, and I just had to mess with it. The original title was, "I Miss You So".