Monday, September 9, 2013

Willis Earl Beal

Wills Earl Beal
Nobody Knows
XL Recordings

I’d say forget about Jack White and the Black Keys. Beal writes, sings, and plays the real indie blues.  And now that he has better recording equipment than he did on his first album Acoustic Sorcery, and a band,  the result is an album that improves on his debut tenfold. Beal is someone who plays the blues first and is an indie musician second.
His music rough, soulful, and blue as in sexual in “Too Dry to Cry” but the command Beal has of every part of his music is also a joy to hear.

Tom Waits is still used for effect, but only for effect. I hear more Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Van Hunt, Keb Mo, and even a bit of Al Green.  He’s a 70s throwback, but a great one. It’s been along time since I heard the blues played this well, although my perspective is limited. The blues in general is such a vast type of music that I can’t say I’ve explored every part of it, but enough that I know the blues when I hear it. If you like the blues, you’ll enjoy this album a lot.
Andrea Weiss

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