J.P. Reali

J.P. Reali
The Road to Mississippi

Reali Records

By Lady K.
July 2013

J. P. Reali’s blues are evocative of lazy, front-porch-blues, on a steamy afternoon – acoustic, lots of pickin’, heady harmonica. J. P. definitely doesn’t sound like a bluesman from the Washington, D.C. area, with his penchant for acoustic guitar and acoustic blues; but that’s what The Road to Mississippi is – mostly guitar, original blues by J. P. (with a little help from his brother Chris), in the traditional Piedmont/Delta style. The Road to Mississippi, with 10 tracks, also includes a short “Prelude” and “Coda;” a nice touch.

Players include: J. P. Reali (acoustic guitars, vocals); Pete Ragusa (drums on 2 tracks); John Previtti (upright bass on track 11); and Mark Wenner (harp on several tracks).

The title tune, “The Road to Mississippi,” is about a worthy journey – trekking to the music in Mississippi – to Clarksdale “from Ground Zero to every junk joint.” He wants to “plant my shoes in the soil that sprang the blues.” In the thought-provoking “My Soul or Skin,” he asks “If I was a governor or if I was a slave, would you see my soul or my skin when you look down on my grave?”

The subtle, rocking “I Do My Share of Drinking” includes Wenner’s harp, and explains a life-time of living his life by the time of day and the appropriate (perhaps) drink. “I drink gin (Lady K’s weapon of choice) in the evening and beer in the afternoon / bourbon with my breakfast.” He goes on to explain “I don’t drink because I’m thirsty, I don’t drink because it’s fun, if I ever quit my drinking then my life will be done.”

The slowish, bluesy “Dark, Strong and Steaming” is about his lady’s need for caffeine. She “never adds sugar, never adds no cream / sometimes she’ll add some liquor if she’s feelin’ mean / she likes her coffee like she likes her man: dark, strong and steaming, in the palm of her hand.” In J.P.’s ode to his “Biscuit Baking Mama,” she “don’t use no baking powder, she don’t use no yeast, but the way she make her biscuits, they’re big enough for me.”

Lady K’s favorite track is the rocking, Previtti bass-thumping “Bloozin’ in NYC.” He’s “standing on a platform, waitin’ on a train, the city streets above – they’re pounding my brain / I ain’t got no business Bloozin’ in NYC.”

The Road to Mississippi is acoustic AND it rocks. There’s something for everyone here.

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