This debut release from Ken Kawashima, stage name Sugar Brown, was independently recorded and released in 2011. Clocking in at just over one hour, the fifteen tunes included here are representative of the old Chess sound of the 50’s.
Recorded live and onto a full track mono tape recorder, the tunes sound aged with the authentic feel of the old Blues masters and one could almost imagine the archivist Alan Lomax present with his tape machine to record the sessions for posterity.
There are eight tracks written by Kawashima and the remaining songs are arranged from old Elmore James, Jimmy Rogers, Floyd Jones and Muddy Waters originals. There is even a tasty cover of the Velvet Underground song Run, Run, Run which redefines the meaning of blues interpretation.
Guitar, Harmonica and upright bass form a potent mix across these tracks, complimented by occasional drums on a few songs. The sound is sparse and elemental with a vocal delivery that hints at the pain and frustration of the singular traveller in search of respite.
Based in Toronto, this excellent musician, singer/songwriter has produced a ground-breaking take on the blues medium that is at once ancient as the hills and refreshingly modern in its’ stripped bare honesty