John Mooney

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John Mooney

Postby bighollowtwang » Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:35 pm

This is a '97 release...don't know if anyone has reviewed this in the past but here's my take on it.

http://www.tradition-moderne.com/shop_i ... 18452b.jpg

I am a big fan of John Mooney's playing and particularly his singing, but am less enamored of his often too-funky-for-my-tastes band recordings. Well...this is the kind of record I wish he'd make more often. Recorded live in '95, Mooney plays the entire show accompanied only by his own foot tapping on two 50's National electric archtops and sings like a man possessed.
There are covers of Sleepy John Estes, Robert Johnson, Big Joe Williams, Snooks Eaglin, Son House, Charly Jordan, the traditional "Shortnin' Bread" and the New Orleans standard "Junco Partner" (in my opinion the weakest track on the CD) and some standout originals.
John Mooney can sound incredibly close to his mentor Son House, particularly on Son's "Late In The Evening" and "Grinnin In Your Face" (performed a la Son, accompanied only by hand clapping. He is one of the few singers that I've heard able to pull off a Son House cover without sounding forced, phony, or unnatural - as anyone familiar with Son's singing style will attest that is no small feat!
One of the highlights of the CD is Mooney's own "It Don't Mean A Doggone Thing" - a slow paced tune brimming with menace that's right up there with any of the covers he plays on this recording. One of the things I love about his playing is his ability to wring maximum emotional impact out of a minimum of notes, both vocally and on guitar. Here it's plainly evident and unencumbered by a backing band or glossy production.
This is a great lesson in how to perform solo blues material without sounding derivative or forced, highly recommended if you're a Son House fan. To top it off, the cover artwork is great!
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RE: John Mooney

Postby boz » Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:56 pm

I Copy That Zak !!
Mooney is the real thing and that IS a great CD.
Good review.
p.s. I do one of Mooney's songs, "Buried Treasure" and always get a great response from it.
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RE: John Mooney

Postby bluesmcgoo » Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:35 am

AMEN ZAK!

That's one of my all-time favorite albums! Incredible stuff. I've recommended that one to everyone I know.

I'm a HUGE fan of his. I finally got to see him last year at Jazzfest. I'm going back down there this year and hope to catch him again. He'll be appearing both weekends, one of which, I believe, may be a solo set. Can't wait!

Great review, by the way.
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