Bluestate Moves Farther Into Jazzy Territory

Date: 06.23.2005
Publication: Toronto Star
Author: Greg Quill

On his second outing produced, as was his debut, Country Libations, by Branford Marsalis, the American singer/guitarist/songwriter moves farther into jazz territory, though it’s clearly his formative country/folk environment that sustains his sensibilities.

The opener, “If I Live to See the Day,” is a biting indictment of American foreign policy, as powerful a protest song as we’ve heard in decades, dressed up in Weather Report drag.

His version of Peter Gabriel’s “Washing of the Water” is overwhelmingly spiritual in conception, though it’s suspended in a kind of timeless haze of somnolent jazz riffs and a percussive shimmer.

“Rocking Jerusalem” begins as a solemn field lament, and builds to a powerful, dissonant rave, then a rocking gospel chorus, through which Wamble’s serene, warm voice murmurs like a breeze over the lake.

A complex, challenging set, Bluestate confirms Wamble as a serious new force in American music, and as an ingenious and imaginative musician and songwriter.

Submitted by Ben on June 22nd, 2005 — 11:00pm