Blues Bytes


October/November 2009

an associate

Stan "The Man" Hedges
Two Mule Parade

Stan The Man Hedges

This is the first time that I’ve heard of Stan “The Man” Hedges, and I’m guessing that Two Mule Parade is maybe his first CD. Having listened to the CD a few times now, I’m really hoping that this isn’t a one-off and that there is a follow-up in the pipeline.

This Tennessee bluesman writes some good stuff, 11 of the 12 tracks on the album are written by him – the exception being a great version of “Wade in The Water.” He has an earthy, gritty, voice, very reminiscent of Dr..John, that fits his music perfectly, and the female backing vocals complement his voice beautifully – supplied by Miranda Louise, Summer Boyd,Melissa Wickline, Jane Hedges and Toni Wood-Meyer.

The music is a mix of New Orleans blues and some shuffles, the tempos passing back and forth through the album, and tracks 1,2,3,6 and 8 have guest harmonica supplied by “Chicago” Charlie Fink – for me, these are amongst the best tracks on the CD, especially track 8, “Butter Yo Biscuits.”

The CD opens with “Angola Cowboy,” a tale about a recently released convict trying to adjust to life on the outside – Shannon Wickline playing some barrelhouse piano to push things along. The music slides into “I Can Hear the Delta” - slides being the operative word as the track features some rich slide guitar work from Stan Hedges. Great lyrics, well-written, with tinkling piano work behind the slide guitar – excellent!

“Won’t Stand The Light Of Day,” a track about the slave trade and its effects on the generations since, has poignant lyrics written from the point of view of a white Southern man who suffers guilt about what went on all those years ago. Compulsive listening!

This is a CD that should have a place in any good blues collection, and I can’t wait for the next Hedges project! You can find it on CD Baby.

--- Terry Clear


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