The Blues Against Youth – As The Tide Gets High And Low: Album Review

A lockdown solo effort. As The Tide Gets High And Low comes from Italian bluesman Gianni Tbay as The Blues Against Youth, his one-man-band project.

Release Date: 28th January 2022

Label: Escape From Today

Format: CD / LP

If you like mucky, down and dirty country blues this is right up your corral. 

The album is full of semi-autobiographical experiences like Goin’ To East Texas, Say Something and Particle Filter Blues. If there were such a thing as a ‘concept’ blues album this is it, as Gianni Tbaypays tribute to those who wrote the ‘real’ blues of hard knocks and tough times. Many traded their wares in the US cities seeking fortune and fame to escape the cotton field.  These artists were creative and inspired others but were forgotten.

The ancient historical nature of Rome and the modern motor reputation of Turin may be as far from delta blues as you could get but Gianni captures the flavour of that swampy sound after mixing musical experiences with the likes of Watermelon Slim, Bob Log III, DM Bob, CW Stoneking, Bob Wayne, Popa Chubby and discovering John Fahey and Doc Watson.

From beginning to end, this foot-stomping music immerses you fully in a whole mess of excellent slide guitar, chunky rhythms and incessant beat. Refugee kicks us off and plants us firmly in the backwoods where guitars are mean and slick and his vocal drawl disguises his local roots. Then Goin to Chicago has more than a tinge of JJ Cale about it. Slanted Path maintains the rip-roaring mood and will have you do-si-do-ing , two-stepping and promenading.

Breathlessly we shuffle along to I’d Rather Hide Deep In The Backwood. The stomping is relentless throughout as we rustle through Blue Muse, chuff along on the Devil’s Train and bound along on the rousing Say Something. Finally, some respite comes as we reach the final track Oblivion. The textured instrumentals and fluctuating tones blend with droning vocals and ascending and descending guitar riffs which are almost transcendental.

The music is uplifting although the lyrical themes are sombre. For a solo project, the album is wonderfully swamped in rich, resonant sounds.

The Blues Against Youth online: Website / Facebook / Bandcamp / Instagram / Youtube

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