Originally from from the small southern town of Bolton, Mississippi, Robert Connely Farr is now based in Vancouver, British Columbia and with his group The Rebeltone Boys he’s released the excellent new album Dirty South Blues. It’s chock full of heavy blues-rock, primarily originals plus a cover of Skip James’ ‘Hard Time Killing Floor Blues’.
‘Ode To The Lonesome’ kicks things off with a plaintive and hypnotic acoustic guitar line running through it. It’s joined by a sympathetic electric guitar before Farr’s soulful blues growl serenades a lilting melody across the primitive rhythm section. ‘Blue Front Cafe’ is a slow stagger, a death march if you will as Farr conjures both a preacher and the devil. ‘Just Jive’ grabs a honky tonk groove and swings it around the dancefloor on the back of some great saloon piano. It’s loose but right in the pocket and infectiously so. ‘Yes Ma’am’ heads into country rock, still heavy and rolling it shows Farr and band can play with restraint and a light hand. Think The Band, Drive-By Truckers and Lucero.
There’s plenty more to explore and dig about this highly accomplished release. It’s spirited and tough, varied and built on great songwriting and a voice that’s built to sing the blues.