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High Side of Lowdown by James Cohen

In a departure from his normal fare, Fred Litwin and his NorthernBlues label offer the music of guitarist James Cohen.

The group is a happy mix of rock and blues musicians playing a wonderful new music. Cohen discovered the art of flamenco guitar in recent years. His group, the James Cohen Caravan was heard by Fred Litwin, at the Ottawa Bluesfest and plans were put in place for an album.

It's difficult to imagine what might result when one assembles a frontline of a flamenco guitarist, a veteran bluesman and a great rock keyboard player. The end-product is a delight. Call it what you will, but you can't place it in a pigeonhole. It just won't be categorized! There are elements of blues, classic jazz, and gypsy jazz hiding behind the flamenco rhythms. Tracks such as Tiny Monkeys and Mock Pollack are pure jazz. Fortune's Fool could be considered a "flamenco blues" if there was such a thing. Richard Bell's keyboard spot on the tune is a throwback to his brilliant solo on Janis Joplin's Me and Bobby McGee. Bell was with the band of Ronnie Hawkins and Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie.

This new CD is certainly worth a listen if you enjoy fine guitarists.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: James Cohen
  • CD Title: High Side of Lowdown
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: NorthernBlues Music
  • Tracks: Pun Tango; Santa Anna; Blue Gypsy; Mock Pollock; Elsie; The Lemming; La Tormenta; High Side Of Lowdown; Tiny Monkeys; Fortunes Fool; Without You.'
  • Musicians: James Cohen (nylon string guitar); Tony D. (steel string guitar); Richard Bell (piano, keyboards, vibes, accordion); Devin Johnstone (percussion); Stu Watkins (bass).
  • Rating: Four Stars
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