Four lost albums from David Blue – a really compelling singer/
songwriter, ripe for rediscovery! First up is These 23 Days In September, recorded for Reprise – a really moody little record from David Blue – a folksy singer who's got a style that definitely lives up to the melancholy promise of his name! Blue's definitely an artist with a difference – working in the familiar mode of vocals and acoustic guitar, but with an edge and distinctness that really sets him apart from the folkies of a few year before – that sense of different that really set apart a new wave of contemporaries, like Leonard Cohen, Fred Neill, or Tom Rapp. Titles include "These 23 Days In September", "The Sailor's Lament", "Scales For A Window Thief", "You Will Come Back Again", "Slow & Easy", and "The Grand Hotel". Stories is an overlooked early set on Asylum – the kind of really special singer/
songwriter material that really set the label apart at the start of the 70s! David Blue has this compelling vocal style that's moody, but down to earth – inflected here and there with guitar contributions from Ry Cooder
, who's understated, but really brings out some special qualities in the tunes. Jack Nitzsche adds in some light strings at points – but overall, things are pretty spare and personal – and titles include "Looking For A Friend", "Another One Like Me", "Sister Rose", "The Blues", "Come On John", "Marianne", and "Fire In The Morning". Nice Baby & The Angel shows David Blue really starting to get some star power in his mix – a fuller set, produced by Graham Nash – with work from Nash on guitar, plus more guitar from Dave Mason and David Lindley – in a nice mix of roots elements, but which never overwhelm that unique sense of songwriting and vocals that set David Blue apart from the rest. Titles include "Darlin Jenny", "Troubadour Song", "Train To Anaheim", "True To You", "On Sunday Any Sunday", and "Outlaw Man". On the cover of Cupid's Arrow, David Blue might look a bit cheesy, what with his open shirt and all – but he's definitely the real deal, and very down to earth in his singer/
songwriter approach – with a quality that's only underscored by the lineup on the set – a group that features Levon Helm on drums, Jesse Ed Davis on guitar, David Lindley on mandolin and slide, and Barry Goldberg on piano and organ, and also handling production of the album too. The shift from David's roots is a bit like that taken by other contemporaries who once started in more folksy territory, then found a new way to grow in the west coast singer/
songwriter scene – and that means that things are more electrified, but still quite far from mainstream music – with original tunes from Blue throughout, and titles that include "I Feel Bad", "Maria Maria", "Primeval Tune", She's Got You", "Tom's Song", and "Run Run Run".