CD Review : Bottleneck John – “Acoustic Blues & Spirituals”

Posted on: Friday, Mar 16, 2007

Bottleneck John (Johan Eliasson)
“Acoustic Blues & Spirituals”

Here’s an interesting release – containing a whopping 20 tracks of what it says on the can – acoustic blues and spirituals, from Bottleneck John, all the way from that current hotbed of blues, Scandinavia – rural Sweden to be precise!

Bottleneck John – real name Johan Eliasson – delivers a lengthy selection of well-known Delta tunes from such masters as Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson, together with some self-penned material in the same style – played on a National steel guitar, but with a band on some cuts.

Some of the studio recordings I found quite engaging, but was not over keen on the live tracks, or the fake hissing and scratching to give a supposed old-time feel – but hey, let’s not grumble too much – it is quite remarkable that a man from Sweden is captivated by 70-odd year old blues tunes!

Standout tracks are a nice “Stones In My Passway”, with a really good vocal; a couple of lovely instrumental pieces – “D-Jam”, which is very Blind Willie Johnson, and “G-Jam”, more in a Robert Johnson vein; and the album’s closer, bonus tracks apart – “You Can’t Get That Stuff No More”, featuring some more nice slide playing and another gritty vocal.

Fans of the acoustic blues will find this release to their liking, and I am sure in a live setting in a small room, he will be quite captivating!

For more information check-out www.johaneliasson.com or contact him on info@johaneliasson.com.

GRAHAME RHODES

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