Review of Fetch It! from Il Blues, the Italian blues magazine

Quando si va nel profundo Sud degli Stati Uniti a percorrere i luoghi del blues, non ci si può improvvisare “turisti per caso,” perchè il rischio di perdre pezzi di storia è molto alto. Bisogna allora affidarsi ad “un compagno di viaggio”, meticoloso e dettagliatissimo, come l’ottimo libro/guida “Blues Traveling/The Holy Sites of Delta Blues” dello studioso Steve Cheseborough, il quale non si è limitato alla sola attività di autore, indirizzando la sua passione anche come musicista. Dunque da carta e penna, alla chitarra/armonica/percussioni e voce, con i quali, da tre CD compreso questo (I primi due sono stati recensiti nel n. 87 e le due edizioni del libro nei numeri 80 e 89), Steve è come se volesse continuare l’approfondimento della materia riproponendo passi della tradizione afroamericana. Rispetto ai due precedenti CD, dove le versioni di Son House, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Tommy Johnson, Bo Carter ecc, mancavano di coinvolgimento emotivo per una esposizione scolastica e un canto dalle tonalità nasali e stridule, in questo suo terzo capitolo, dobbiamo riconoscere la volontà di Steve di aver tentato di dare più espressivitá al canto rendendolo più lento, cosicché anche il suo accento pulito risultasse un po’ più ricco di sfumature. Con la chitarra e l’armonica poi non va al di là del puro accompagnamento, ma no è un difetto, perché in alcuni casi ci mette anche del suo. Gli episodi che risultano menzionabili a nostro avviso sono “Hear Me Talking To You” (di Ma Rainey), “Who Broke The Latch” (di Bo Carter), il sobrio boogie dove si aiuta anche con l’armonica “Shake Your Hips” (di Slim Harpo), la delicata versione di “Vicksburg Blues” (di Little Brother Montgomery”, la ballata, di nuovo con l’armonica e accenno di canto yodel di “Little Ole Wine Drinker Me” (di Jennings/Mills), il traditional “Shortnin’ Bread” con l’uso dello slide e “Last Kind Words” (di Geechie Wiley). Siccome a noi Steve Cheseborough piace, ed è persona sincera e appassionata, vi invitiamo a contattarlo presso il suo sito www.stevecheseborough.com
Silvano Brambilla

When you go to the Deep South of the United States to cover the places of the blues, you can’t be an “accidental tourist,” because there is a great risk of losing pieces of history. You must entrust yourself to a meticulous and extremely detailed “travel companion,” like the optimal guidebook Blues Traveling: the Holy Sites of Delta Blues by the scholar Steve Cheseborough, who has not limited himself to the single activity of author, directing his passion also as a musician.
Therefore from paper and pen, to the harmonica, guitar, percussion and voice, with which, from three CDs including this one (the first two have been reviewed in issue 87 and the two editions of the book in issues 80 and 89), Steve seems to continue the deepening of reclaiming material from the passage of the African-American tradition. Compared with the two preceding CDs, where the versions of Son House, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Tommy Johnson, Bo Carter etc. lacked emotional involvement because of an academic presentation and a nasal and shrill vocal tone, in this his third chapter, we recognize Steve’s effort to give more expressiveness to the singing, rendering it slower, so that also his clean accent turned out a little richer in shadings. With the guitar and the harmonica then he does not go beyond pure accompaniment, but that is not a defect, because in some cases he also makes it his own. The tracks that turn out notable in our opinion are “Hear Me Talking To You” (by Ma Rainey), “Who Broke The Latch” (by Bo Carter), the straight-ahead boogie which is helped also by the harmonica “Shake Your Hips” (by Slim Harpo), the delicate version of “Vicksburg Blues” (by Little Brother Montgomery), the ballad, again with the harmonica and a hint of yodel “Little Ole Wine Drinker Me” (by Jennings/Mills), the traditional “Shortnin’ Bread” with the use of slide, and “Last Kind Words” (by Geechie Wiley).
Since we like Steve Cheseborough and he is a sincere and passionate person, we invite to you to contact him through his site, www.stevecheseborough.com
By Silvano Brambilla
Translated from the Italian by Steve Cheseborough

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3 Comments on "Review of Fetch It! from Il Blues, the Italian blues magazine"

  1. Jim Cheseborough
    17/06/2009 at 4:19 am Permalink

    Wow, very cool. How did you do the translation?
    Great review!

  2. admin
    28/06/2009 at 8:46 pm Permalink

    Well, I’ve studied Italian a little. And I know Spanish, French and Latin. And I used online text-translators and dictionaries. And the review is about blues, so many of the terms are borrowed from English. So that’s how I managed to translate it. But still some parts of it sound a little odd; I would appreciate it if someone with better knowledge of Italian would give some suggestions on the translation.

  3. Paolo Sperotto
    09/12/2009 at 9:47 am Permalink

    Hi Steve!

    First of all great job about your experience and about this web site!
    I’m italian, right now I’m living in Toronto and in teh next months I really would like have a trip in order to visit the “Bluesland”…in fact I’m bewitched about the Blues music and Blues world. I’m gonna buy your precious guide 😉

    In any case your translation is very good, great job!

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