Sunday, November 8, 2009

Deep Blues show at Harper's Ferry w/ Kent Burnside & The New Generation

Kent Burnside & The New Generation

w/ The Ten Foot Pole Cats

& Whoa! Man! Jesus!

Live at Harper’s Ferry

November 8th, 2009

While a large portion of the Massachusetts blues scene was offering support to the Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge, another group of blues punk renegades happened to be catering to a younger and under-served audience. With a headlining act of Kent Burnside & The New Generation and support of two local acts turned a hard rock bar with area enough to land a small jet engine into a quaint cinder block juke joint.

Some refer to the sound as Deep Blues, while others call it Hillbilly Punk, while still others refer to it as a Punk Blues. The name of the genre is meaningless, but you should refer yourselves to some of the purveyors of that sound. If there is any justice in the blues world then blues fans and blues societies will start supporting this sub-genre as it combines an originality and energy level to an under-served audience, and that is a college crowd which has not had the opportunity to create a preconceived notion as to what is blues.

Not only did the packed house filled of blues fans and drunk dancing college co-eds provide the inspiration for one hell of a show, knowing there were members of Boston’s A-List of blues acts (Satoru & Yukiko of The Tokyo Tramps as well as the sometimes mild-mannered “MartySax” formerly of Hoodoo Revalators) helped raise the bar. The best part of the night had to have been all three acts involved more than met the challenge.

Local act Whoa! Man! Jesus!, a local act with a Deep Blues sound did not show any rust after a band hiatus and set the bar high for the rest of the acts tonight. Jason, Julian and Wayne locked in from the opening set and peppered their material with tributes to the innovator of trance blues, Mr. RL Burnside.

Next up, after a spectacular opening set last sunday at The Boston Blues Society Blues Challenge was The Ten Foot Polecats. Featuring a majority of original material, especially a new instrumental dubbed “Scratch Ticket”. The Polecats had the dancing drunk co-eds alternating between trips to the bar & to the merchandise table.

To close the night Kent Burnside & The New Generation proved that musical talent may in fact be a gene passed along through generations, with no intended disrespect to John Lee Hooker Jr and Big Bill Morganfield, the real good music gene skips a generation.

Part of being a somewhat anonymous reviewer is the ability to just blend into the background. Sometimes it pays to not announce my presence in order to have to deal with the fall out of a bad review, other times the pure enjoyment of the show makes it damn near possible to fight the urge to drop my notebook and just enjoy the dancing revelry. Tonight was one of those nights where just being a part of something great was just to overwhelming. Luckily with the support of the right people, I left with more than enough disks to hip people to the North Mississippi/Deep Blues/Punk Hillbilly scene. Please stay posted to The Boston Blues, Brews & BBQ Blog as well as my monthly work with The Boston Blues Society. Judging by the large turnout on a sunday night, a lot of you are already hip to this sound however it should not be a secret for those who have yet to experience it. So just grab a dancing partner and shake your hips!


  1. I was there and could not keep still. I regret not getting there sooner for Whoa! Man! Jesus! got there late had to go back to the car for my id and missed the last few minutes of their show. The rest of the night made up for it cause my feet were moving right up until the last note. Upon leaving two CDs were purchased and that is a rare event. The fact is that Kent Burnside and the New Generation are not from around here and lots of live music. Yes, it is a steady appetite that is desired more than food itself. It's all about the blues!