For some reason we keep getting told that “so-and-so is bringing blues back,” even though not only did it never leave, but some of the hottest artists of today are modern blues musicians – see Jack White (QRO live review), The Black Keys (QRO album review), and the latest ‘blues bringing-backer’, Gary Clark Jr. (QRO photos). But there’s much more than just laying down riffs, whether solo or in a guitar-and-drums duo. Brooklyn’s Omer Leibovitz has been doing it as one-half of Courtesy Tier (QRO album review), sounding much fuller than a two-piece, and more recently solo under the name Dan Abraham, first with Dead and Yelling EP (QRO review), and now with Dan Abraham.
Dan Abraham is a sad and stark affair, a stripped blues with echo that evokes major loss from start to finish. Admittedly, two of the songs are covers, but are done very well – The Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers” becomes a sadder, stripped piece, while Townes Van Zandt’s much-covered “Waiting Around To Die” (see Evan Dando’s version on VARSHONS – QRO review) is still startlingly effective (even to your reviewer, who knows that Leibovitz has not lived the tragic life detailed in the song). Those covers also help break up the originals, which is a good thing as “Oceans” isn’t as interesting stripped blues with echo as the opener “Mila Says”, and the simpler “What’s a Day To You?” isn’t as impressive as the carrying loss of the closer “Home”.
Blues is quintessentially American in many ways, including how often it has been used & reused in the mainstream, borrowing its authenticity until it has none left (think of the many House of Blues venues across the country). But for a powerful, darker, and most of all genuine slice, try Dan Abraham.