Studebaker John – Songs for None
As a songwriter and musician, Studebaker John has emerged as a major creative force in the world of the blues today. Ahead of the pack, with vision and foresight, creating a new standard and landscape for this music’s future… with John at the wheel, the future is now!
Songs for None is his 18th record, and it is quite different from his previous albums. This time no band, just John on his own with his harp and his slide guitar. All songs are self penned and are a tribute to folkblues icons like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins and R.L. Burnside. No-one can translate pain, loneliness and broken hearts into swampy, dark slow blues and intense ballads as Studebaker John does on this exquisite new album.
Songs for None was released on Avanti Records in the USA and is now available in Europe through Music & Words in full colour digipack.
Studebaker John was born as John Grimaldi in Chicago in 1952. His dad was an amateur musician and John played harp by the time he was 7. As a teenager he began hanging around Maxwell Street. He was so inspired by Hound Dog Taylor, who was very active on the Chicago scene in the late 60s, that he took up guitar and modelled his playing on the Hound Dog’s energetic style.
When John formed his own band, they were billed as Studebaker John and the Hawks, named for a car that John owned, with a nod in the direction of JB Hutto and the Hawks, another inspirational band.
He began recording during the mid-’80s. All in all he released 18 albums, on the Belgian Double Trouble label, Blind Pig Records, Delmark Records and his most recent ones on his own Avanti label. John is a very active musician who tours a lot.
“ If you want to visit with a different side of this great artist then pick this up. It’s a cool album and John has written and performed some great new songs. It’s a little down and dark in theme but it’s worth a spin or two!” (www.bluesblastmagazine.com)
“And now, Studebaker John by himself with a baker’s dozen of original songs with Mr. Grimaldi playing solo acoustic guitar and his harp. It’s a change but it’s very interesting and well done. “Songs For None” has simple, original songs of truth about everyday life – from the kettle of guys like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jukeboy Bonner and Big Joe Williams.” (dwmmusic.com)
“Simply put, this is a great album. It combines a simple blues/folk style that is comforting to the ear. John’s songwriting ability continues to impress with thoughtful lyrics, combining grit with simple truths about everyday life. His silky smooth harmonica interweaves gracefully with the simple yet elegant guitar to compliment the legendary Studebaker John vocal style. (…) John also recorded this on analog equipment to more closely capture the sound everyone was used to back in the days of early Americana. This album is a beautiful answer to the modern day digital utopia.
This record is a must for any fan of Studebaker John.” – ThunderBlues Radio. (bluesfestivalguide.com)
“(…) Raffiniert im Zusammenspiel seiner beiden Instrumente mit der im Laufe der Zeit gegerbten Stimme. Country Blues für die späte Stunde” (Ohrenschmauch [D])
“Mit diesem Album zeigt er sich nun als Solist, spielt die akustische Gitarre und bläst die Harp dazu. Reduktion auf den Ursprung also. Feines Fingerpicking, schöne Slidegitarre und oft hypnotischer, „verhangener“ Gesang atmen die flirrende Luft des Mississippi-Deltas.” (Folker [D])
“En, man, wat heeft Studebaker de blues op deze cd!!! Het hele album is doordrenkt van allerlei vormen van ellende gevat in sombere, desolate blues. (…) De afsluiter All My Life voorspelt dat de blues voor altijd aan Studebaker John zal blijven plakken. En wat ben ik daar bij om!!! Vooral als het dit soort prachtige albums oplevert.” (Bluesmagazine.nl)
“The music is Dark, bleak, painful as blues should be and Studebaker John succeeds in putting these broken hearts of blues on a very unique way. 100% blues and 100% Studebaker John. ” (****, Billybop.vzw)
“John (…) weet de desolate sfeer van de blues van het platteland uitstekend te treffen.” (***, Lust for life)
“Een geslaagd bluesalbum, vooral dankzij de fantastische slide en een hoekige mondharmonica.” (Heaven, ***)