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Gitlo Lee

Comin' Out the Hole

(Self-released; US: 30 Oct 2012; UK: Import)

Gritty, sweaty, down 'n' dirty blues

Gitlo Lee plays down ‘n’ dirty, winking and weeping guitar blues. Possessing nimble fingers and a voice that wells up from the bowels of the earth, he makes good use of his skills on tunes like “Comin’ Out the Hole” and “Give Me a Beer”. His mischievous side is evident in such tunes as the midtempo cruncher “Coffee” (“My baby call me Coffee because I grind so fine”), and the bouncy “Big Legged Woman”—in which Lee tells us that he likes a woman so big, “When she backs up she goes ‘Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!’” It’s not all laughs and winks, however. “Swamp Devil” is a slow-blues masterpiece topping seven minutes, relating an encounter with something nasty in the bayou, while “Joe Brown” is a cautionary tale about alcohol abuse. Throughout it all, Lee’s guitar twanging is rough-edged and raw in the best possible way, and his solid backing band provides plenty of sonic texture, particularly Andrian Boudreaux on keyboards. This is music both gritty and life-affirming, both happy and sad, simple in structure but endlessly inventive in execution. Blues, in other words—real blues.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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