Keepin' Outta Trouble

Rory Block

Stony Plain Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Rory Block is one of the most accomplished blues musicians working today, male or female. She has received five Blues Music Awards in the Traditional Blues Female and Acoustic Blues Album Of The Year categories.nbtc__dv_250

Several years ago, she embarked on her Mentor Series, and to date, she has issued albums covering and inspired by the music of Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John McDowell, and Son House.

Her sixth album in the series, Keepin’ Outta Trouble, is a tribute to Bukka White. Interestingly, White’s music inspired her to create more original compositions than any of the previous releases in the series.

The four Bukka White penned tunes – “Aberdeen Mississippi Blues,” “Panama Limited,” “Parchman Farm Blues,” and “New Frisco Train” – are classic interpretations straight from the Delta. Block has always been a superior acoustic guitarist, and her ability and style brings out the original power of these old blues songs.

Her own songs are modern day blues that use White’s material for their inspiration. “Gonna Be Some Walkin’ Done” is a clever ditty based on White’s guitar lines from “Bukka’s Jitterbug Swing.” She wisely leads off the album with her own “Keepin’ Outta Trouble” and “Bukka’s Day,” which not only introduce the theme of the album but also showcase her own approach to traditional blues.

Block has followed her own career path and many times has travelled the road less taken. Through it all, she has dedicated herself to playing, creating, and preserving the blues. She has never wavered from her chosen musical career path. The fact that she is so good at her chosen profession is just icing on the cake. Keepin’ Outta Trouble is another brick in her wall of blues.

Rating: B+

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