|Buddy Blue - Pretend It's Okay|
|Written by Joe Wood|
Pretend It's Okay (Clarence Records) lifts Southern California's Buddy Blue to a new level of musicianship. Achieving a perfect blend of blues and rockabilly perhaps best dubbed "bluesabilly," Buddy Blue takes his listeners through a range of tempos, from raucous guitar riffs to smooth, soulful jazz licks.
The album opens with the heavy rockin' blues number "When Merrill Pitched a Boogie," which sings the praises of country-boogie piano thumper Merrill Moore. The title track, "Pretend It's Okay," a Buddy Blue original, is a hilarious shuffle-bass ditty that covers a range of personal dilemmas, from your girlfriend smelling of cologne you don't own to the decline of neighborhoods. Blue even touches on the state of our nation's politics, with lyrics like: A presidential 'lection, Republican erection/They went ahead and stole it and everybody knows it/And pretends it's okay/then they feel better that way.
"Papa Needs Poon-Tang" and "Goldmine" are fast rockabilly tracks that will get your feet a movin'. Meanwhile, the hillbilly jug and mouth harp number "The Year of Jubilo" will strangely make you want to take up square dancing. The track segues into a rocking blues rendition of Ian Anderson's "My Sunday Feeling." There's also a tribute to Screamin' Jay Hawkins, who was rumored to have fathered dozens of children in his lifetime, with the song "57 Kids."
Pretend It's Okay deftly captures Buddy Blue's sense of humor and boasts strong vocals, great musicianship and powerful arrangements. If you pick up this CD—which I highly recommend—listen for the hidden Popeye track.
Editors Note: Buddy passed away in 2006. You can learn more about Buddy at www.buddyblue.net. There is also the Buddy Blue Fest, a sort of annual memorial concert held in San Diego.