We recently had the pleasure of interviewing San Francisco based musician and songwriter, Blind Lemon Pledge. You can read that here.
Evangeline is the newest body of work from Blind Lemon Pledge and his group of top-shelf musical misfits. I’ve been spinning this record for 3 days and one thing is for sure; this pool of fine musical talent knows how to get down and dirty with some blues.
Opening with the minimalistic yet profound “Buley’s Farm”, Blind Lemon Pledge takes it back to the roots as James sings “every dollar gone before it’s got, cause I owe it all to Buley’s store….. I ain’t stayin’ down on the farm”.
The lyrics continue, “my daddy was a sharecropper. and his daddy ‘fore him, too. we been working on Buley Farm since 18-hundred-2″…
On my dad’s side, the first family member to come to America arrived as a prisoner on a boat in the 1730s (sentenced to 7 years indentured servitude). My mom comes from a family of sharecroppers. With that said, the lyrics began resonating as soon as I clicked play.
The story continues as the slower but moving “Jennie Bell” fills the speakers; “there’s a 6:03 to New Orleans, got a ticket, it took all my pay. Oh Jennie Bell, I’ve got to leave you. You know I’ve got to go away.”
The dobro wails as the train gets ready to pull out of the station. You can feel the tears welling up inside as Blind Lemon Pledge pulls your strings with every note.
The story continues through 8 more chapters before ending with the title track, “Evangeline”.
Blind Lemon Pledge rocks, rolls, jukes, jives, moves, grooves, chills, reflects, and brings back all the core elements of authentic blues and Americana music; the way I’ve always liked it.
James Byfield has been involved with music since the age of 14 when he first picked up a guitar and fell into a life-long love affair with folk and blues music. He began recording and performing as Blind Lemon Pledge in 2008.
Having played in a variety of bands as well as exploring a variety of musical genres, James has been around the music business long enough to know a a few things. You can gain more insight from his experinces in our interview.
Evangeline is a masterfully written and composed record. Each song is able to stand on it’s own but the album is a cohesive unit; telling a story authentic to the roots of it’s historical context as well as the genres that provide its aural foundation.
You can listen or grab your copy of Evangeline right here.
Personal favorites: “Buley’s Farm”, “Midnight Assignation”, “Go Jump The Willie”, and “Language of Love”. (They are all great songs though.)