CD Review | Julie Rhodes – Bound To Meet The Devil
Album | Bound To Meet The Devil
Artist | Julie Rhodes
Label | Dirt Floor Records
Genre | Blues
Julie Rhodes’ album is, simply put, one of the most impressive debuts the Blues world has seen in a very long time. If her arrival has seemed meteoric, its impact is all the more astonishing when you consider that just two years ago she was employed as a waitress in a New England Ice Cream Parlour.
It is an ascendancy that only came about by chance. A Blues devotee, she was in the audience for a gig by singer/songwriter Jonah Tolchin, and started to sing along with one of his songs. Tolchin was so impressed by his impromptu backing singer that when they talked after the show he took it upon himself to help her ‘up the ladder’. (It was an echo of his own experience as a fifteen year old when blues legend Ronnie Earl heard him play at a music store, took him out to lunch and asked Jonah to play onstage with him).
Within months of their meeting, Julie was in the recording studio with Tochin co-producing and playing guitar on what was to become ‘Bound To Meet the Devil’.
She’s backed by an impressive set of musicians – Danny Roaman shares guitar duties with Jonah Tolchin, Michael Bosco is on drums and percussion, Doug Moffet on saxophone and Matt Murphy on upright bass.
Recorded at Dirt Floor in Chester, Connecticut in her native New England, as well as at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the album also features contributions from legendary organist Spooner Oldham; Nickel Creek’s fiddle player Sara Watkins, and revered guitarist Greg Leisz.
From its opening track – the spine-tingling ‘In Your Garden’ – through all eleven of the songs this album – Julie Rhodes’ sheer raw talent shines out. There are some show-stoppers – ‘Hey Stranger’; ‘Holes’ and an astonishingly good cover of the Son House classic ‘Grinnin’ In Your Face’ but its fair to say there are no duff songs on it.
She triumphed at the South by Southwest Festival in March and is well on her way to being one of the ‘names’ of 2016.
Her sheer energy and passion for the music makes this one of the albums of the year so far. …Perhaps THE album.
“Bound To Meet The Devil”