Bradley N. Litwin | You Rascal You

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Blues: Finger-Picked Guitar Jazz: Ragtime Moods: Mood: Fun
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You Rascal You

by Bradley N. Litwin

Authentic vintage delta blues, stride and jazz; made of one part Cab Calloway Hi-Dee-Ho and one part Nat King Cole smooth-as-silk, with a generous dose of Robert Johnson down-to-the-crossroads.
Genre: Blues: Finger-Picked Guitar
Release Date: 

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1. Mr. Diddy Wa Diddy
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3:32 $0.99
2. You Rascal You
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3:28 $0.99
3. Woah, Tillie, Take Your Time
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2:42 $0.99
4. Please Consider Me
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3:30 $0.99
5. St. Louis Got Tickled
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3:05 $0.99
6. One Meatball
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5:04 $0.99
7. Too Tight Rag
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2:58 $0.99
8. What Are You Doing New Year's
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3:31 $0.99
9. Wor Shu Op
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3:06 $0.99
10. Louisiana Fairy Tale
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3:46 $0.99
11. Love In Vain
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5:03 $0.99
12. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
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3:54 $0.99
13. Baby Please Come Home
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3:42 $0.99
14. You Always Hurt The One You Love
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2:19 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Contemporary Delta Blues, Stride and Jazz Guitarist Bradley N. Litwin Can Sing. Litwin represents the arrival of music that marries peak finger-style guitar performance with a vocal style that engages from the first phrase, and dazzles as it shifts from dark to light, funny to tender, and smooth to rollicking. Taking on the rompin' stompin' finger-style guitar of Blind Blake, Robert Johnson and Mance Lipscomb, the smooth singing of the Mills Brothers and Nat King Cole, and the exhilaration of Bessie Smith, Litwin emerges with a sound all his own, and one that music lovers have been waiting a long time to hear. Treating roots music like an old friend, who just stopped by after decades past, he carries on with a front porch conversation, as though it were never interrupted.

Litwin paid his dues and developed his obvious chops while wandering through the self-absorbed scene that was 1960's contemporary folk music. A fascination with the blues awoke with his discovery of roots blues of the early Delta era. Confronted with its primordial power by venerable practitioners Paul Geremia, Sparky Rucker, Roy Bookbinder, John Jackson, and Chris Smither, who each spent time hanging out in Litwin's Vermont guitar-making workshop in the 70's, he developed a thirst for expression in the vintage blues idiom; and that, despite the picture of a hard life on the road, his mentors painted during their time together.

Today, Litwin tours, both as a solo performer, and with a band of like-minded madmen as the "Madman Jazz Trio." Members include Michael "Chopper" Salsburg on violin, and tuba virtuoso, Jimmy Parker.

Litwin released the critically acclaimed "I'll Give You the Bus Money Honey!" in 1998. From radio to press this album made waves, receiving a host of reviews and accolades praising it's unique brand of vintage blues.

"If you close your eyes and imagine Victrola record scratch noise over Bradley's performance, you begin to think you've traveled back in time, because man, he sure does sound like the real thing."
- Buddy Osthaus

Appearances with the legendary folk DJ Gene Shay, performances at numerous festivals, and thousands of downloads later, Litwin introduces his sophomore release "You Rascal You" in 2002. Steeped in authentic tradition, this album takes the sound of the 1920's and 30's and once again brings it all back home.

Produced by Jon Cooper, each track creates a virtual soundscape of times gone by. The unmistakably American guitar and vocal style of Litwin combined with an upright piano, jumpin' jive violin, and smokey horns, gives this engaging record a welcome honesty.

"You might think pop music that's 70 years old has no relevance to today," quips the artist as he nails another vodka gimlet between sets, "to soothe my vocal chords." "I say today's pop music is basically the same as it ever was, and every bit as silly. Now excuse me while I go back out and sing Diddy Wa Diddy for my peeps."


Reviews


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CD Baby


A priceless delivery of contemporary and vintage delta blues, stride and jazz. Though you're not entirely sure whether he truly feels sorry for himself or is winking at you from underneath his droopy eyelids, Litwin's rendezvous of Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan and Robert Johnson gathers together an assembly of fun in this highly entertaining album. Moody and vulnerable, yet well-balanced and convincing, the music of Bradley Litwin is not to be missed.

Wes James

The other reviewers are right- he's great!
I heard Brad on Satellite Radio... had to search him out on the internet, which took me, of course, to CD Baby! I bought the CD for his original tune "Wor Shu Op" and it's GREAT baritone resonator guitar work, but the whole album was great. If you like Stride/Jazz/Bigband/Blues from the 30's era, you'll love this album! Now to check out his other one...

Finn Bjerke

Humour, blues and positive madness
"The Selfmade Madman" is more than an excellent fingerpicker. On this CD his Vocals are in the foreground. It swings and will make you stomp your feet smile and occasionalkly laugh.

Bradley is a very funny man and a gifted guitarist and singer. This Album is very American in the sense that it brings the power of the blues, the jazz and the roots of American music up to modern time. This is no mainstreamish pop thang. It's a hard working musician who takes fun seriously!

I love the swing and happy feel of this CD and the vocals and guitar is just amazing. Very nice bigband arrangements too. Neo-traditionalists are gonna love this.

American and Wonderfull. Bradley deserves a bigger audience

btw: I'm danish.

AZJOHN


At this late date, I see I must not have given this CD a 5 star rating click on my first review post....I am doing it now and have contacted CD Baby to edit my original post with a 5 Star rating....need some "Wor Shu Op"? I have nothing but accolades about this CD. The violin work on "Louisiana Fairy Tale" suggests the musicians can make the violin scream. I bet they do live. What kind of bows are they using? Do they keep their chin down and elbow tucked in?

This is a great CD.

Thanks Brad!!!

AZJOHN

Peter Spencer

a bluesman through and through combining pathos with wry humor
If I had a sawbuck for every time I've heard this act done badly I'd own a big stone farmhouse in Bucks County and a monkey on a silver chain to bring me drinks in the grotto. The big hat, the little glasses, the carefully appropriated influences, we've all caught this vaudeville enough times for it to figure in those nightmares where you've gone to
school wearing just your underwear.

And yet Bradley N. Litwin ("the Self-Made Madman") somehow manages a set full of flashy guitar licks, virtuoso singing, and, rarest and most beautiful of all, personality.

He does this by combining the rural blues/ragtime repertoire (the album opens with a super-hot version of Blind Blake's hokum classic "Mr. Diddy Wa Diddy") with vintage jazz and pop material that is artfully selected
and even more artfully arranged.

Litwin has the jazz musician's facility with harmony, which enables him to re-harmonize familiar tunes like "You Always Hurt the One You Love" and "Louisiana Fairy Tale" into convincing showcases for his yelping, over-the-top vocal delivery. And he has the classical musician's ability
to stretch time to the breaking point, as in a version of Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain" that perfectly captures the lyrics' doleful melancholy.

In the end, though, Litwin is a bluesman through and through, combining pathos with wry humor in the classic manner. "Baby Please Come Home" is funny and touching at the same time, and the original "Wor Shu Op" should be played in every Chinese restaurant in the land.

- Peter Spencer

Mike Miller

Mr. Litwin is a revelation and a treasure.
" YOU RASCAL YOU is a new CD from local blues/ragtime maven, Bradley N. Litwin. Mr. Litwin is a revelation and a treasure. He creates and he recreates with style and taste. His playing is fluid, melodic and accurate. His homage to Blind Blake (Too Tight Rag and Mr. Diddy Wa Diddy) are sincere and, from the standpoint of instrumental proficiency, an improvement.
The current crop of blues revivalists have not been content to emulate the pioneers, they have sought to raise the bar. Keb Mo tips his hat to the roots then turns up the amp. Jerry Ricks is a scholar of Delta blues but his sense of purity doesn't stop him from showing what Robert Johnson would have sounded like if he played clean.
Mention should be made of the sleek sound and the slick feel of this recording. Far too often, independent productions are carelessly put together and suffer loss of continuity and listener interest. This time, I can honestly state that the producer, Jon Cooper, has done well by his subject. The pacing is right and the sound quality is primo." -Mike Miller, Philadelphia Folksong Society

AZJOHN

Most Impressed!
I have to make decisions on CDBaby purchases using a dial up connection. I have to decide what to buy based on a short lyric, a chord structure, vocal range, etc. and go on. When I saw that Brad had a saxaphone on this CD, I wrote him and gave him a hassle before buying. He blasted me back. Then I bought and listened to the CD. I now recall and understand how the sax should be played! Not that the CD is about saxaphone. IT IS NOT!!!!

If you heard Mr. Litwin's first CD, you will obtain the same great fun, vocals and most important, great guitar playing and vocals!!!!

LITWIN, MAL

ALL
as one LITWIN to another you were great