To the surprise of no one aquainted with Glenn Kaiser,Ripley County Blues reaffirms his status as the quintessential bluesman of Christian music. This is not explicitly a Glenn Kaiser Band project, but Glenn is joined by GKB's Ed Bialach on drums and Roy Montroy on bass. The trio recorded Ripley County Blues in one week, essentially playing live in a Missouri log cabin lodge owned by Jesus People USA, the Chicago community that gave rise to bands like Rez, The Crossing (including Ed's wife) and The Blamed (including Glenn's son-in-law).
Ripley County Blues is more stripped-down than the GKB projects, offering a split of acoustic blues and electric blues in a variety of styles. My favorites include the acoustic arrangement of Blind Willie Johnson's Take Your Stand, Roy's rockin' Nick of Time, the sweet guitar sounds of I Got My Eyes On You and Mystery, and Runaway Train, with Glenn in vintage blues form:
sowed all the oats / up came the weeds / I thought I smelled sulfur / from all my deeds / I wanted pleasure / didn't worry how / up came the mirror / out came a howl
Anyone who enjoys Glenn's earlier work, Larry Howard, Darrell Mansfield, Stevie Ray Vaughn or bluesmen like B.B. King will give Ripley County Blues plenty of time in their CD player.
I had the opportunity to interview Glenn & his wife Wendi on October 26 before a Glenn Kaiser Band concert in Colorado. Check out the concert and interview pictures.
Visit: Grrr recordS and Glenn Kaiser.