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Monday, April 27, 2009

Review: Pete Herzog - Homestyle

Pete Herzog - Homestyle
2008, Hartkop Productions

Pete Herzog is an old-school, back porch picker, blending folk and blues in a fashion not common since the 1960's urban folk movement was co-opted by the major labels. Using open tunings, ala Bruce Cockburn, and a self-developed flat picking style, Herzog is a treat for the ears, offering up a mix of Mississippi Delta Blues and Appalachian Folk that is, if not wholly originally, indeed rarely found. Herzog's latest CD, Homestyle, contains 18 tracks (15 originals) that were recorded in one take, without overdubbing using an old Gibson guitar and a 1930's Kay arch guitar for slide work. Listening to Homestyle you'll swear there is more than one guitarist involved, but it's all Herzog, all the time.

Homestyle opens with Woman That I Love, a happy and hopeful blues tune featuring some very intricate guitar work and Herzog's strong, clear voice. Herzog is so authentic and organic in sound you can close your eyes and picture him playing some club back in the 1930s or 1940s without any reservations. Coqui Blues features very strong guitar work and is a very memorable tune. Big Island Woman is the sort of Blues that inspired bands like Led Zeppelin; Herzog has an easy delivery that works perfectly here. Pretty Mama Take Me Home is a touching song that is the sort you build mix tapes around and Herzog sounds particularly emotionally connected to this one. Other highlights include Jump On Blues; Whole Hog; My Baby, Um Huh; Murphy's Cabin and Herzog's cover of House Of The Rising Sun.

Pete Herzog mixes Blues and Folk styles like they were born together. Homestyle is as down home as it gets. Folk and Blues fans will sing the praises of Pete Herzog.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Pete Herzog at You can purchase a copy of Homestyle at

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