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C W Stoneking - Jungle Blues

"CW Stoneking has not so much emerged from a time machine than exist in his own bubble of early 20th century blues, jazz and hobo clatter. I have seen him in the flesh and he is sepia-toned. He's thirty-four going on eighty-four and on Jungle Blues he takes a stride deeper into the bayou he approached on his startling debut King Hokum.

While he is Australian, his story checks out. Jungle Blues echoes his experiences in Trinidad, West Africa and New Orleans, as much the soundtrack to Steamboat Willie and the steam rising off the mosquito-infested swamps. It's intoxicating hearing this man with the voice of a weary tramp and a backing band of voodoo marionettes working their black magic.  

Authenticity can be a tricky thing, and attempts to replicate a bygone era can quickly slip into cliché and pastiche. Bluesmen are nothing without a verifiable history of the doggone, no-hope, down and out blues. I don't want to know how he does it, I just know that listening to the sinister calypso of 'Hell' sound-alike 'Love Me Or Die', the carnivale jazz of the title track and the grainy samba of 'Brave Son Of America' doesn't just suspend your belief, it seats you front and centre in his debaucherous speakeasy.

Jungle Blues is the genuine throwback (waaay back) album for dilettantes that the experts can't fault.

Andrew Tijs"
C W Stoneking - Jungle Blues 


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