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    Shepherd of the City Blues

    Mitch Greenhill - Shepherd of the City Blues

    2000

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    All Music Guide Review

    Mitch Greenhill's 1960s albums Pickin' the City Blues and Shepherd of the Highways had been out of print for a long time when, in April 2000, Fantasy reissued them on the 65-minute CD Shepherd of the City Blues. Recorded from 1963-1966, these recordings point to the fact that while folk singer/instrumentalist Greenhill wasn't mind-blowing, he was competent, likable, and sincere. Pickin' the City Blues and Shepherd of the Highways are very different albums; while Greenhill's singing is the main focus of Pickin', Highways is an instrumental date that finds the Bostonian playing both acoustic guitar and banjo and drawing on influences that range from old-time country string bands to Lonnie Johnson's jazz-influenced country blues. Improvisation defines Highways, whereas on Pickin', Greenhill's role is that of a storyteller; and even though Greenhill isn't a fantastic singer, he gets his points across on original songs as well as the hillbilly favorite "Ragged but Right" and blues classics like Sonny Boy Williamson's "Good Morning Little School Girl" and Willie Dixon's "Built for Comfort." Although these Dixon and Williamson gems have usually been heard as electric Chicago blues, Greenhill has no problem turning them into the type of acoustic country blues that represented legitimacy to many folk artists of the 1960s. Since Greenhill hasn't done a great deal of recording over the years, Shepherd of the City Blues is the logical place to go if you're exploring his work for the first time. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi

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