Filed under: 2010 Top 25
Seeing Stoneking play a proper gig (after a rather weird and short slot at the Barbican a couple of years back) was fantastic. A mumbling, rangy Orson Welles in a white suit, telling tall tales and backed by a cracking band, Stoneking really does work best live. Having said that, Jungle Blues (his second or third album, depending how you count them, and the first to get a push over here) is pretty much perfect.
Full of dubious (hokum) stories married to a sound which is rooted in the first half of the 20th century when jazz and blues and country and the like all cross-fertilised like crazy, this is vintage music which manages not to be pastiche or tribute or irony. It’s done with love and smarts and it’s utterly alive.
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