Jeff Norwood plays how I would like to write. Jeff's second release takes us even farther off the beaten track than his swampy debut, Awendaw. Norwood's new release Push Pilin isn't quite as nice and friendly. He takes his music to a darker shade of blue with a dash of 60's purple thrown in for good measure. Jeff combines forces with Justin Showah (bass) and Jimbo Mathus (drums), a volatile mix one only hopes to see play live.
Jeff has his ear to the ground and plays songs for our times, while injecting those classic deep-blues lines we know so well. Push Pilin provides plenty of attitude in Jeff's deep repertoire of classic blues, giving the most cynical aficionado some pause. " Push Pilin" comes out with a blunt hammer, then seduces us with some of the sweetest licks I've heard in a decade or more. ”Invisible Man” hits home, and “Hard To Love” could well up the eye ducts in the hardiest of us. “Down Deep” drowns us in cut-with-a-knife bass. “King of the Jungle” boogies down with great lines anyone living in tough conditions would understand. “God Damn South Carolina” might sum up best the beautiful angst/attitude this CD strives for. This could be one of the most important deep-blues albums of the year.
I dub this album "Devil May Care," since Jeff really lets loose with his own vision. So far this is Jeff Norwood's seminal recording, giving his due to all the devils and angels we live with in 2011, before, and after.