Richard Ray Farrell / Steve Guyger | Down Home Old School Country Blues

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Blues: Country Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Down Home Old School Country Blues

by Richard Ray Farrell / Steve Guyger

acoustic blues / country blues
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Good Mornin' Little Schoolgirl
4:02 $0.99
2. Cool Cool Place To Go
3:14 $0.99
3. Rollin' and Tumblin'
4:19 $0.99
4. I Gotta Go
3:54 $0.99
5. Friar's Point Blues
2:44 $0.99
6. Oh Red
2:38 $0.99
7. Cocaine Blues
4:08 $0.99
8. Gimme Mine Now
4:19 $0.99
9. That's Alright
3:43 $0.99
10. Keep Your Hands Off Her
3:10 $0.99
11. Sail On
4:23 $0.99
12. Big Road Blues
3:52 $0.99
13. Early In The Morning
4:09 $0.99
14. You Can't Get That Stuff No More
3:23 $0.99
15. Baby Please Don't Go
2:45 $0.99
16. Diggin' My Potatoes
4:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Richard Ray Farrell & Steve Guyger
“Down Home Old School Country Blues”

“Old Fashions please me best.”
-Bianca in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew

Depending on the musical genre, the term “old school” means different
things to different people. To the aficionado of acoustic blues, it generally refers
to the heyday of unamplified country blues between 1920 and 1960. The pantheon
of influential blues artists from this period has cast a long shadow. The 16 covers
herein showcase the diversity of this enduring genre. Contemporary duos like Santa Barbara’s Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan, Virginia’s John Cephas & Phil Wiggins, and
Boston’s Paul Rishell & Annie Raines, all cast in the mold of legendary country blues torchbearers Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, have performed and recorded this style of blues with substantial success for several decades.
The Bucks County, PA based tandem of guitarist Richard Ray Farrell and harpist Steve Guyger, with a combined 65 years of performance experience and several critically acclaimed albums each, can now take their place with the aforementioned dynamic duos with this labor of love. There are so many surprises here as only five tunes on this old school musical classroom are familiar standards
(John Lee Williamson’s, a.k.a. Sonny Boy I, “Good Mornin’ Little Schoolgirl” and
“Early in the Morning,” Big Joe Williams’, “Baby Please Don’t Go,” Tommy Johnson’s “Big Road Blues,” and Robert Lockwood’s “That’s Alright”).
It takes veteran virtuosos like Farrell & Guyger to render this timeless music true to the spirit of its progenitors while keeping it fresh and personal with deft, fervid picking, fluid, wailing harmonica and unpretentious vocals. By doing so they maintain its sparse, soulful simplicity, pristine minimalism, and, most importantly, its emotional urgency. In this age of synthetic everything, savor the unadulterated real deal of Down Home Old School Country Blues.

Thomas J. Cullen III

Bucks County Blues Society President, Senior Writer Blues Revue, Blues & Soul Agitator



to write a review

bobbyDR BLUEShartman

i know steve guyger this is a good session for him
ive known steve guyger for a few years it seems that everytime he records he gets better this is a good accoustic disc if you are a harp lover as i am you will enjoy this recording very much

Brian From the UK.

Excellent! Is this to short?
This is an excellent CD.If you like your blues in then you won't regret buying this.

Mick Rainsford

Wonderful set from two of my favourite blues artists
Richard Ray Farrell & Steve Guyger – Down Home Old School Country Blues
Blue Beet 100003

“Down Home Old School Country Blues” is an apt title for this wonderful set from two of my favourite blues artists – Richard Ray Farrell and harp maestro Steve Guyger.

Between them, this duo have racked up 65 years of performing the blues – and it shows as they perform sixteen well chosen covers, investing them with a new life but retaining that earthy, feral beauty that epitomizes the work of the great acoustic blues masters – uncluttered picking and chording, wailing harp allied to soulful, down-to-earth vocals. In short – the “real deal”.

Farrell opens with John L Williamson’s “Good Mornin’ Little Schoolgirl”, the wistful edge that permeates his vocals echoed by Guyger’s propulsive harp and enhanced by his own strolling strumming. His vocals adopt a more menacing tone on “Rollin’ And Tumblin”, a “headbanging” blues propelled by rhythmic harp and fretwork – whilst on “Friar’s Point Blues” he captures the plaintive vocal and slide stylings that epitomized Robert Nighthawk’s blues, Guyger’s melancholy harp enhancing the mood and feel.

Luke Jordan’s “Cocaine Blues” is an ebullient romp given a Jesse Fuller feel replete with wailing harp – Tampa Red’s “Gimme Mine Now” is invested with a manic intensity, Guyger’s harp taking the role of the kazoo – the rollicking “Keep Your Hands Off Her” and “You Can’t Get That stuff No More” and a Satan and Adam inspired rendition of Tommy Johnson’s “Big Road Blues” rounding out Farrell’s vocal contributions.

Several of Guyger’s selections inevitably draw from the works of the great harp maestros – Rice Miller’s “Cool Cool Place To Go”, with it’s fraught vocals, stomping guitar and Trumpet (Records) styled Sonny Boy harp – and the frantic “I Gotta Go”, which melds Parkway period Little Walter with Papa Lightfoot being particularly impressive. It was also inevitable that Guyger would feature numbers associated with John L Williamson, and we get two – “Sail On” where his high register harp enhances the plaintive mood set by his resonant baritone vocals that are racked with regret – and “Early In The Morning” where his wildly evocative harp lies in stark contrast to the mushy-mouthed, lisped vocals that evoke Williamson’s spectre without being too derivative.

The frantic “Oh Red” with it’s gritty vocals and Papa Lightfoot meets Blind Willie McTell feel – and the raw power of “Baby Please Don’t Go” are further highlights of this highly recommended set. (available from CD Baby)
Words 385
Rating 9
Mick Rainsford


Blues At Its Best
A friend forwarded a link to a couple of cd's which I promptly previewed. I was immediately digging the vibe of Farrell and Guyer's blues and before the previews were finished I was ordering two of their cd's. If you like blues, particularly Down Home AND Old School these are a must have. I find myself listening and thinking, "man, I wish I could play like these guys". Another plus is that I, as a dabbler in blues, can pick up my old guitar and jam with these cd's. Incredibly good and well worth the price of admission, and then some. Best cd's I've bought in quite awhile. Usually you find one or two tunes you really dig on a cd. All of the tracks on these are keepers. Thanks guys for sharing the mojo!!!

Luis Lisboa

A labor of love and respect for the blues
Richard Ray Farrell and Steve Guyger joined forces to make an album with such emotional urgency and soulful simplicity.
There's a great combination of Farrell's country sound with Guyger's Bluebird-urban sound, bringing back to life the timeless music of Big Joe Williams, John Lee Williamson, Tommy Johnson, Robert Lockwood, Tampa Red, Walter Jacobs and others, keeping it fresh and personal.
Richard Ray Farrell guitar work is perfect match for suberb Steve Guyger's harmonica, where he pays homage to Hammie Nixon, Little Walter, John Lee Williamson, Rice Miller, Walter Horton without loosing his touch.
Their vocals are two different styles, but each one complement other.
Two great masters delivering a labor of respect and love for the blues.

Bluesman from Norway

Down Home Old School Country Blues
I liked the CD very much. I liked the sound and especially the harmonica. I liked that it's recorded live in studio without overdubs. Really authentic sound. That's blues for me :-)

paul oscher

rare stuff in this age of digital manipulation
What can I say? Steve Guyger is my favorite living harp player!. This record is a must have for seriously intentioned blues harmonica players. Buy this! See what a harps supposed to sound like before you amplify it. thats the real secret to tone, not the gear.