Georgia bluesman nails the balance between good times and deep 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.