Son Powers | Paranoid Blues

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Blues: Electric Blues Blues: Piano Blues Moods: Featuring Piano
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Paranoid Blues

by Son Powers

assorted themes including geographical advantage, the perils of veracity, rapturous adoration, repeated pleas for medical intervention, a metaphorical pharmacological conundrum, triumph over lugubriosity, a study in the need for restraining orders, the nadir of the circadian rhythm, and a paean to persecutory beliefs.
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Chicago
4:22 $0.99
2. If I Ever Tell the Truth
4:03 $0.99
3. Love You the Most
3:05 $0.99
4. Help Me Doctor
3:23 $0.99
5. Constance
2:18 $0.99
6. Time to Walk
2:55 $0.99
7. Boss of the Blues
4:31 $0.99
8. Should Have Thought It Over
3:41 $0.99
9. Blue Hour
6:55 $0.99
10. Paranoid Blues
3:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Review of Son Powers PARANOID BLUES by Morley Lowbead

Son Powers keeps topping himself. PARANOID BLUES opens up with a tune called “Chicago,” a tribute to blues masters like Little Walter, Willie, Wolf and Muddy. Jerry Lee Lewis lives in the personage of Walter Mingledorff, who dominates the proceedings throughout. The use of spaces with only the bass and drums keeps many of these songs feeling fresh.

“If I Ever Tell The Truth” with its answers “they’ll drag me off in chains” and “I’ll be the only one” is next, with its cool organ and unaffected vocals mixed right up front and very “dry” (not much reverb).

Powers slows it down on the third tune, with “Love You The Most.” Sparse piano chords block out the song, and the arrangement is quite effective on the bridge.

On “Help Me Doctor” (a standard Blues-ism) Son begs the medical professional to “help me clear my head.” The song’s initial ragtime mood changes to a shuffle and then back again for the finish.

“Constance” is a gorgeous and unpretentious little ballad played on only piano with a synthesizer in the background.

The next tune “Time To Walk” boasts the excellent lyrics “moonshine made me crazy, cocaine makes me talk” and is framed by Ty Hanson’s harmonica.

“Should Have Thought It Over” has an easy going groove and benefits from a musical motif where a chord is played a half-step below and resolved on the tonic. It’s very effective when it breaks out of that pattern for the bridge, and uses sparseness in the arrangement to great effect. Heavy reverb on Hanson’s harmonica supplies mood.

There’s an almost Jazzy feel to “Blue Hour,” and Rob Piazza’s steady rimshot allows the funky bass to frame the song.

The Title tune, “Paranoid Blues” is easily the most innovative tune on the album. I can see why Mr. Powers made it the title song. With it’s exhortation to “try walking in my shoes” and the complaint that it “makes me suspect most everyone I meet,” as well as its bagpipe-like drone, it’s something new in the blues music pantheon.

Overall, sparseness is used to great effect on “PARANOID BLUES.” There is never a fear to leave a space, and the songs flow better than ever before. The unaffected vocals are a real treat. Powers never sounds like he’s trying to sound self-consciously “Blues-y.” Recorded and mixed very well by Chuck Nash at Zoe Tribe Studios, and with hilarious and well designed cover art by Harmony Cornett, Son Powers should be quite proud of this collection of songs.

--Morley Lowbead, July 2012



to write a review

Steve Piscitelli

Long-time industry pro entertains with a message
Paranoid Blues
Written, recorded and produced by Son Powers
Son Powers: Vocals, Fender bass, and synthesizer
Walter Mingledorff: Piano and Hammond Organ
Rob Piazza: Drums
Ty Hanson: Harmonica
Chick Nash: Background Vocals
In the words of long-time harmonica master, Ty Hanson, Son Powers’ latest effort “aligns itself with traditional blues.” On the CD Paranoid Blues each song tells a story; each note paints a mood; each instrument is an integral part in the tapestry Son weaves.
My wife and I listened to the CD (a couple of times) on our way to the Florida Keys. My key takeaways look like this:
• “Chicago” immediately kicks the CD into high gear with Hanson’s harmonica chops. The driving beat creates an infectious grove.
• “If I Ever Tell the Truth” has a George Thorogood-feel. The song’s message comes in one line: “If I ever tell the truth, I’ll be the only one.” That could be a headline in any newspaper across our nation.
• Son switches it up on “Love You the Most.” This would’ve hit the Top Ten in the 1950s. With simple lyrics and soothing keyboards you can envision this song being sung at the high school prom in the gym.
• “Help Me Doctor” gives us a bounce that Ringo Starr would envy.
• Son takes us to church with “Constance.” With its reverential piano work, this instrumental could be a favorite at any wedding ceremony. Simply beautiful.
• “Time to Walk” brings the Hanson harp to the forefront again. This tune would carry the night in either a smoke-filled room or a dance contest on the beach. The harmonies add to the flavor this track. The hook that struck me: “Moonshine make me crazy; cocaine make me tall.” How many people have you known who feel ten feet tall with a little substance enhancement?
• Son’s dark side comes out on “Should Have Thought it Over.” A moaning harp and sullen keyboard accents a broken heart in this screed-like warning to someone who has obviously crossed the line. “I got some real bad feelings and I ain’t gonna keep ‘em hid.” Watch out!
Paranoid Blues by Son Powers entices, enchants, and entertains on many levels.