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Randy Lee Riviere – Blues Sky

Reviewed by: Patrick Dallongeville, Paris Move

With such blase, Randy Lee Riviere could only acknowledge a certain anchoring with rurality. That of the Old American South, in this case. In a little over twenty years of career, this singer-songwriter and guitarist has successively embraced almost all the genres practiced under the Dixie-Line (country, folk, blues and rock), which should be enough to place him in the somewhat little catch-all of “Americana”… Produced, like its predecessor (“Wyoming” in 2021), by Kevin McKendree (keyboardist and occasional guitarist with Tom Principato, Big Joe Maher, Mark Wenner, Bob Margolin, Anson Funderburgh, Tinsley Ellis, Gina Sicilia, George Thorogood and Delbert McClinton) in his Rock House Studio in Franklin, Tennessee, this new album is in any case part of the southern rock celebrated by Ken McMahan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Calvin Russell (“American Redoubt”, “Do Or Don’t”, “Old Country’s Son”, “What You Know About Pain?”…). Its eleven tracks all exude their southern flavor: this raw abrasiveness of saturated riffs and power chords on a beat well stuck in the depths of time, and mired in clay. The shadow of the electric Neil Young of his heyday (from “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” to “Zuma”) hovers over “Needles”, “Joseline” and “Spit Shine”, while country-gospel ballads such as “Just One More Time” and “Cold Cold River” see other Riviere beds emerge (the first James Taylor), and “You’re So Kind” takes us back to the Lou Reed of “Vicious” and “Sweet Jane ”… An album warmly recommended to fans of Dan Baird and the Dusters, who will recognize the combination of strings bristling with a shadowy sustain, on lasciviously funky muddy rhythms. A little more addictive with each new listen…

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