Over the years, we've seen and heard lots of musicians who blend a little of this and a little of that. Mark Rubin doesn't really mix anything. He plays the gamut of American music styles from blues to bluegrass, from Cajun to klezmer, closing out with some joyous rhythm 'n' blues. You can tell which is which. What I didn't notice, even from his Americana band, Bad Livers
, is how good he is as a song-writer, singer, and fiddler. This CD should make the point.
It takes a Jew from Oklahoma to give us the folk ballad, "The murder of Leo Frank" ("Next time you're at services / say a kaddish for Leo Frank"), followed by a lovely "Rumainyan Fancy." I also appreciate the topicality, breadth, and poetry of the songwriting, from "Key Chain Blues," ("Well the boss man called me up today / Said I gotta take a key off your key chain....") to "(Why am I trying to) kill myself" to the organizing song, "No more to you."
The recording opens with Rubin leaving Texas in "Blues rides a mule," but this music is the best cure for the blues I've heard in too long. This one will be on the playlist for a long time. Best, you can get your own copy—physical CD or download—from our friends at CDBaby. Download it soon, y'all. Time to enjoy some prodigious good picking and feel good about the world again. Great album art, too.