Joe Beard feat. Duke Robillard and friends – Dealin’ (2000) DSF DSD64

Joe Beard feat. Duke Robillard and friends – Dealin’ (2000)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz  | Time – 54:27 minutes | 2,16 GB | Genre: Blues
Source: ISO SACD | ©  AudioQuest Music

In the blues world it’s OK to be a late bloomer, and when it came to recording, Joe Beard was exactly that. The charismatic singer/guitarist, whose influences range from Jimmy Reed to Lightnin’ Hopkins, worked “day gigs” when his kids were growing up and didn’t start to build a catalog until he was in his fifties. Blues lovers who heard Beard’s AudioQuest dates of the ’90s found themselves saying, “Hey, this guy is very talented; why haven’t I heard of him until now?” And, of course, the answer to that question is that his nine-to-fives and family life had kept him from being a full-time bluesman. But when his kids reached adulthood, the Mississippi native turned Rochester, NY, resident had more time to devote to music. Recorded in April 2000 (when he was 62), Dealin’ is Beard’s third CD for AudioQuest and underscores his ability to handle a variety of electric blues styles. Beard’s appreciation of Reed and the Chicago blues is evident on gutsy, rough-and-tumble tracks like “Give Me Up and Let Me Go,” “My Eyes Keep Me in Trouble,” and “The Bitter Seed,” a Jimmy Reed classic. Like Reed, Beard favors a gentle and laid-back style of singing but still has plenty of grit and doesn’t mind having a tough, hard-driving band behind him. Meanwhile, “Holding a Losing Hand” and “If I Get Lucky” (both Beard originals) go for the sort of moody, shadowy, haunting ambiance that often worked so well for Hopkins and John Lee Hooker. This isn’t to say that Beard is going out of his way to emulate Reed, Hopkins, Hooker, or anyone else. Dealin’ shows who some of his influences are, but it also reminds you that Beard is an appealing bluesman in his own right. –Alex Henderson, AllMusic

Blues veteran Joe Beard weaves an old-school spell on the aptly named Dealin’. Beard’s urgent, soulful vocal delivery and eccentric Delta-styled turns on electric guitar (most pronounced on his stirring, unaccompanied, Lightnin’ Hopkins-flavored originals “Holding a Losing Hand” and “If I Get Lucky”) speak loudly and eloquently of his Mississippi roots. Like other real-deal bluesmen, he possesses inherently all the things you just can’t teach in school or learn from instructional videos. Beard is capably supported here by a crew of talented and seasoned admirers in drummer Per Hanson, bassist Rod Carey, guitarist Duke Robillard, pianist-organist Bruce Katz and Muddy Waters alum Jerry Portnoy, who blows a mean blues harp on several tracks. Beard plays and sings with honesty and authority on down-home originals like “That ‘So-Called’ Friend of Mine” and “Three Day Love Affair,” along with covers of Willie Cobb’s “You Don’t Love Me Anymore,” Jimmy Reed’s “The Bitter Seed” and Pearl Wood’s “Just Like a Fish,” which carries the playful lines: “You know you got me hooked/and it sure feels great/It’s not the things you say/it’s what you use for bait.” From start to finish, Beard’s third recording for AudioQuest is a gem. –Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes


1 The Bitter Seed 3:00
2 You Don’t Love Me Anymore 4:51
3 Just Like A Fish 3:07
4 Life Without Parole 7:40
5 My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble 2:55
6 Holding A Losing Hand 3:11
7 Give Up And Let Me Go 5:12
8 Three Day Love Affair 5:00
9 Making A Fool Out Of Me 2:40
10 Long Tall Shorty 3:05
11 That So-Called Friend Of Mine 6:45
12 You’d Better Be Sure 2:51
13 If I Get Lucky 4:10

Bass – Rod Carey
Drums – Per Hanson
Guitar – Duke Robillard, Joe Beard
Harmonica – Jerry Portnoy
Organ – Bruce Katz
Piano – Bruce Katz
Vocals – Joe Beard

Recorded: April 19-20, 2000


%d bloggers like this: