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20 Miles

20 Miles LP

For more than a decade, Judah Bauer has polished the work of his primary band, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, with a considerably gifted guitar prowess. Having cut his professional teeth forging the guitar-driven onslaught of the Blues Explosion, he buffered his cachet in work with such roots stylists and nouveau Delta blues legends as R.L. Burnside and Othar Turner. Since 1996, the assiduous Judah has been applying a pared down musical sensibility to his continuing fascination with the deeply American idioms of blues, R&B, and rockabilly under the moniker 20 Miles. The recordings of 20 Miles have featured an ever-changing line-up of crack musicians and non-musicians alike, supporting the versatile, punching riffs and earnest vocals of Judah. Judah and 20 Miles now release their finest recording to date - Life Doesn't Rhyme.
Written over an astonishingly brief period of three weeks, Life Doesn't Rhyme generates a frisson of excitement with fully developed and vibrant songcraft: Judah Bauer's best yet writing. Ranging in style from scorching rockabilly pumpers to smoldering back-burner blues, the eleven songs on this record revisit the canon of folkloric American Music between, say, 1920 and 1960. Life Doesn't Rhyme speaks its tale in accents honed by that music's best interpreters, while at once being the singular work of 20 Miles. Judah nestles his tunes here into a warm and smoky emotional landscape: envision a hot, late August evening on Beale Street. Barbecue, bourbon, and bravura in the Mississippi Delta's Babylon. Judah's lyrics deal in the frustrations and hopes of human relations. They are direct, impassioned, invitingly spare of the all-too-commonplace ironic commentary.
Life Doesn't Rhyme features the talents of drummer Joe Plummer, best known for his work with Black Heart Procession and The Magic Magicians, bassist Paul Dugan (of The Big Lazy), and Luca on piano and organ. Of course, Judah provides honors on guitar, and lays down his usual and very satisfying vocal chops. The album was recorded in London at Toe Rag Studios with Liam Watson (The White Stripes, The Kills and Splash 4), and with Ed Deegan at Gizzard Recording. Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan, The Verve Pipe, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) mixed the record at Manhattan's Sear Sound.
-- Fat Possum
item # 38727
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