David Blue These 23 Days in September
- Released: July 17, 2007
- Label: Wounded Bird Records
- 1.These 23 Days in September
- 2.Ambitious Anna
- 3.The You Need a Change
- 4.The Grand Hotel
- 5.Sailor's Lament
- 6.You Will Come Back Again
- 7.Scales for a Window Thief
- 8.The Slow and Easy
- 9.Fifth One
Personnel: David Blue (guitar).
If Blue's second album was not nearly as much of a cultural artifact as his 1966 Elektra debut, which went to embarrassing extremes in its Bob Dylan imitation, it was of greater artistic merit. Most importantly, Blue sang far better, though he still wasn't a great singer, with far fewer of the glaringly off-key notes that had bedeviled his first LP. As both a singer and songwriter, he was still Dylanesque, but was becoming far more his own man, as a world-weary commentator with a growing country influence. Certainly the title song far outstrips anything on David Blue, sounding something like a combination of Dylan and early Leonard Cohen, its haunting minor melody enhanced by judicious touches of accordion and sitar. Nothing else on the record is as affecting, and some of it's rather pedestrian, minor Dylanesque stuff, in fact. But it's not obnoxious, and sometimes the music's rather good, as in "Ambitious Anna," which like some of the other tracks have a border feel. On such tunes, Blue seems like a peer or even slight antecedent to somber cowboys like Townes Van Zandt. The remake of "The Grand Hotel," a highlight of his first album, is sung better here, but has a sparer, less interesting arrangement. ~ Richie Unterberger
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