Devil In The Parlour
Voodoo Rhythm Records/Southbound
Here is Delaney Davidson’s latest – and his contribution to Record Store Day’s aim for offering exclusives: a six-track vinyl EP with hand-designed, screen-printed cover in a limited edition of 300.
The music is the best distillation, to date, of the experience of seeing what Davidson does (as well as hearing it). It’s a set of songs cut live in the studio, no overdubs, so it has all the feel of a live album in that regard but it’s nice to leave the songs hanging there – no audience interaction, no whooping and hollerin’, for the way Davidson takes a song from the early blues years and drags it behind him through rockabilly and rock’n’roll to arrive in some ghostly voodoo space is what makes his shtick, if that’s what it is, a creation all his own.
Wonderfully witty liner notes by “Dr”. Bruce Russell remind us of one of the functions of having and holding album artwork. They also bend the truth in a manner that supports the way Davidson bends a country-blues guitar line – making a new truth.
There’s no recommendation that you take this version of In The Pines as definitive – that’s not what it’s about. But take it in the spirit intended, both tribute and send-up, a re-casting, a re-imagining, maybe it’s someone else’s introduction to many possible wonderful worlds. Maybe it’s just a new take on something that’s been done so many times already. Either way that’s the validity.
It’s not always easy for an album – recorded live with no messing, or fiddled with in the cleverest way – to showcase the essence of the artist; to feel real. This feels closest to what I’ve felt when watching and hearing Delaney Davidson at his best: That means his best as both entertainer and archivist/musician.
There’s something neat here for those lucky enough to net themselves a copy. And a nice stopgap as he and the sounds he’s forever finding travel on.