Somhelgisfel features the Austin-based Joe Richardson Express taking full advantage of artistic freedom to deliver a set of truly haunting electric and acoustic blues tracks. The CD opens with a scary, lone upright bass as its only instrumentation, which suits the lyrics perfectly on "Feelin' Like The Dead". Richardson, guitarist and vocalist, takes you as close to the underworld as you'd like to go, then hits you with "Black Sheep Of The Blues", a Muddy Waters-inflicted track with killer slide work. More electric slide highlights include "The Gospel", with its wah-wah hook and blues-rap vocal. "Cry" follows "The Gospel", a send-up in the finest Texas blues tradition. Even an old time clawhammer banjo makes an appearance on the title track, a track that can really make you appreciate the grit and conviction in Richardson's vocal style. The 11 tracks on the CD are dripping with interesting guitar work, even as Richardson is not one to offer lengthy guitar solos as proof of his ability. Somhelgisfel is really a good example of how you can use tone, rhythm and attitude to create a superb guitar-based offering. The Joe Richardson Express were originally profiled in the February-March, 2003 edition of The Undiscovered.
Born in southern Louisiana's Atchafalaya River Delta, playing has been a way of life for Joe from an early age. At the age of 6 his grandfather gave him a guitar from a pawnshop, and he taught himself to play. Learning quickly and putting in untold hours of practice made it possible for Joe to start playing the clubs of south Louisiana at the young age of 13! Years of stage experience in many varied types of musical genres have allowed him to develop his unique and rather unorthodox style of writing and playing. Submerging himself totally in his music is what drives Joe, and has driven his very existence for as long as he can remember. At 52, this versatile veteran puts as much heart, soul, and energy into his music as he did in his younger years, and he vows that only death will stop him!
The Joe Richardson Express plays live in the Austin and Houston areas in support of Somhelgisfel, and Richardson is beginning work on an all acoustic CD.
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