John Long,
Lost & Found
(Delta Groove, 2006)

If you are in the mood for blues straight up -- just voice, guitar and harmonica -- that is what John Long serves up for most of Lost & Found. There are times you can hear him tap his foot as he plays.

The blues starts off in the old-time groove right off with "Hokum Town." The harmonica adds to that feeling in "Pressure Cooker ('Bout to Blow)" as how he sings keeps it going. Fred Kaplan joins in on the piano for "Hell Cat" and the two of them work very well together. It is interesting hearing straight ahead blues with a song talking about boogie-woogie, but "Blues & Boogie Woogie" does just that. Long's vocals set the tone of "Foot Stompin' Daddy" with the guitar quietly in the background.

"Stranglevine" is the second of three songs with Fred Kaplan on the piano and it adds contrast to the very sparse music of the previous song. The music flows right into the instrumental "Johnny's Jump." Then comes one of the slower songs on the CD, as "Mean Ole Rootin' Ground Sloth" takes its time.

The tempo picks up for "Greyhound Driver" as he sings of traveling by bus. There is a wonder in "Healin' Touch," and with that comes joy. "Leavin' St. Louis (solo version)" is one of the best songs on the CD, and "Leavin' St. Louis (piano version)" has a different feel to it -- but once it is going full steam it would be hard to choose between the two.

For the most part there isn't anything fancy about what Long plays. But the way he plays the blues you don't much need fancy. Lost & Found lives up to the promise that the liner notes give about his music.

review by
Paul de Bruijn

10 November 2007

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