Two debut albums to hear

A couple of local bands released their first studio albums this last week that you have to hear, Brett Benton‘s You Got To Pray and The Black TonesCobain & Cornbread. Both have been hot in the the northwest, but these should spiral them to wider acclaim, and show that the blues scene in Seattle is alive and producing some pretty hot talent.

Both Benton and the Walker Twins are originally from the south, Benton born in Alabama and the Walkers in Louisiana, and this influences their music, to one degree or another. But they diverge here, with Benton playing country and delta blues, and the Walkers might be described as “punk meets the blues.” Benton’s lyrics have a southern gist, with themes like guns, alligators and prayer. His booming voice and guitar and can rock the house down.

The Walker’s southern connection isn’t quite as deep, having been born there but raised in Seattle. Vocalist/guitarist Eva and drummer Cedric are a tight brother/sister combo who began developing their insight for music together at an early age. Ultimately this led them to their ‘blues punk’ genre. They’re raw and powerful in The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead), and Eva’s riff in Plaid Pants is mesmerizing. They go a little off the path paying homage to their roots with the gospel Rivers of Jordan, even bringing in a harmonica for the number. It shows how versatile they can be. I saw them at a Summer lunch concert, a pretty tame setting, even leaving a song out because of profanity; on New Years Eve at The Showbox, she stripped down to her panties to energize the crowd.

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